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When will we beat the coronavirus?

While Florida’s seen much lower case counts the last week, the reported deaths by Florida Department of Health continue to rise.

Are we any closer to beating the coronavirus than when we first saw recorded cases roughly five months ago? We brought that question to an expert Thursday.

“We have a better understanding of how it spreads,” said Robert Hawkes, the founder and director of the FGCU physician assistant program. “We have a better understanding as to how we can treat it in the future.”

Hawkes says recent spikes are making it harder to tell how close we are. He says a big indicator will be what happens once schools reopen. Ultimately, he says it comes down to how quickly a vaccine is approved.

“Who can kind of come to market first and get it approved?” Hawkes said. “The government’s kind of already secured their spot, so that we can get, you know, a couple hundred million doses, so that we can start adequately protecting the population.”

Hawkes says the process of manufacturing hundreds of millions of vaccines and distributing them could take months if not longer. So he says the pandemic won’t be over as soon as a vaccine is approved.

Bill Little in Cape Coral knows the dangers of the virus. He tested positive and lost his best friend to it — AJ Mullins of The Collaboration Band. Now, Little is recovered, but the loss of his friend is forever.

“He was like a brother. He really was. I loved the man to death,” Little said. “I’m still not over it. I’m still sitting in here in the house, and I hear something and I, ‘Oh, that’s AJ.’”

Little doesn’t want anyone else to feel this kind of pain. Like many others, he wants to see this virus gone for good and soon.

“People need to give support. They need to get together, join together and beat this thing,” Little said.

Both Hawkes and Little agree, it will take all of us working together to beat this.

“Everybody needs to pull together rather than be everybody for themselves,” Little said.

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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