Over 12,000 Wisconsinites have died from COVID-19. Many more have suffered illness due to the virus. After two years battling COVID, uncertainty about our shared future remains. What is certain, though, is that Wisconsin is in need of information and healing as we continue to cope with the pandemic. Medical researchers in our state have been working hard over the past two years to mediate this complex public health crisis and to move us on towards a healthier future. To gather and share their wisdom, the Wisconsin Academy presents “COVID Two Years On,” a series of conversations with researchers in the field about the struggles and triumphs they’ve experienced and about the new insights they’ve gained working on COVID-related research.
Public health researcher Dr. Jon Temte has had the unique experience of transiting through the pandemic on many levels: from home and community, through clinical practice, and as part of vaccine policy creation on state and national levels. This personal tour will provide perspectives on COVID-19 informed by studies of SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology within a Wisconsin school district and across the UW-Madison campus, the challenges of initiating Wisconsin’s vaccine distribution strategy, and the overall enterprise of developing and refining the nation’s COVID-19 vaccine policy.