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When will the Covid-19 pandemic end?

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I remember calling a friend in the spring of 2020. Incidents have diminished and experts have been optimistic. By midsummer, it was really possible that all of this would finally be over. For the last two months I told a friend. From a summer perspective, do they look like strange dreams? Three months later, what do we do with spring memories when the sticks are crushed and the mask factory is dismantled? A friend of mine said: Who knows, it’s hard to say. And we talked about something else. And the pandemic lasted another 18 months. And now we’re here, and it’s still a pandemic, and things are infinitely better than they were a year ago, but in reality we’re still wearing masks on the subway. So: Exactly, can we definitely claim to have licked this? What indicators, what facts in the field determine when and when they can return to full normal?This week Giz asks, We contacted many experts to find out.


Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan

The uncertainty is so great that you can’t specify a specific date, but it’s clear that there’s still a long way to go. In terms of how it ends, we hope to reach “COVID zero”, but at this point most people are vaccinated or have some degree of infection, endemic. , Probably heading for a seasonal infection. Immunity from previous infections, and therefore infections, tend to be less serious. This means that sticking to preventive strategies such as masking and vaccination (and increased access to vaccines worldwide) reduces infection and burden on the healthcare system and causes deaths before the Covid-19 epidemic. It is very important to minimize the number of people and serious consequences.

In terms of criteria, a pandemic is considered “finished” if Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are consistently relatively low and have fallen to manageable levels. The numbers will probably vary from country to country, but you may see something similar to what you normally see with the flu. This will kill 12,000 to 61,000 people annually in the United States (COVID-19 in the United States in 2020 and about 295,000 to date in 2021).

Different places can reach the end of the pandemic at different times (based on vaccine access / intake, social distance, other mitigation measures, etc.), and even if the pandemic is “finished”, we do. It is important to emphasize what you do. Many of the long-term consequences need to be addressed, including long-term covids, mental health consequences, misinformation and mistrust issues, and financial sequelae.

George Washington University Emergency Physician and Public Health Professor, and Author Lifeline: Doctor’s Journey in the Battle for Public Health

I don’t think we, as a society, define what it means to end a pandemic. Will it be the “end” when the Covid-19 cases are gone? Is it the “end” when the level of hospitalization reaches a level where we are no longer worried about overwhelming our healthcare system? If the number of deaths falls below a certain number, will it be “over”? Anyway, I think most people agree that we are no longer approaching a threshold where Covid-19, the worst public health crisis of our lives, is no longer an urgent concern. I don’t think that level of stability will be achieved in the near future. Indeed, it does not happen while the infant is not yet eligible for the vaccine. Also, there are many people around the world who do not have access to vaccines, including the most vulnerable of us. At some point, we need to renew our understanding of what it means for this pandemic to reach steady state. In steady state, it no longer comes to mind in every decision. But we are far from that point now.

A senior scalar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, specializing in infectious diseases, critical care (ICU), and emergency care.

The pandemic will end in a global sense if most countries in the world can treat Covid-19 like any other respiratory virus they treat each year. SARS-CoV2 is a respiratory virus that spreads efficiently and is associated with a variety of symptoms that circulate in the animal host. It cannot be eliminated or eradicated. The goal is to eliminate its ability to cause a wide range of levels of serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Cases are isolated from hospitalization because this is best achieved by vaccination of people at the highest risk of complications, but baseline levels of cases, death, and hospitalization are always present. Innate immunity after infection also plays an important role, but it is not the best way to tame the virus. The pandemic will eventually go into fashion, and the post-pandemic world will be in a much more manageable environment, although Covid-19 still exists.

Professor and Chairman of Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley

The honest answer is that no one is sure because the future of variants that can escape vaccine prevention remains unclear, and when a higher proportion of the world’s population will be vaccinated. It means that you cannot know. However, in the future, SARS-CoV-2 is most likely to circulate in the population on a regular basis and become more endemic infections / diseases with seasonal patterns of influenza. I don’t think we have a scenario for at least 12-18 months.

Dean of the Milken Institute Public Health School and Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University

The task of producing enough vaccine, putting it in everyone’s arms, and surpassing the ability of the virus to mutate is not quick. I think it will take at least a year for the pandemic to end, but that’s very optimistic. The inequality associated with vaccine production and the degree of resistance to vaccination mean that this can take years to actually end.

I am humble. In the first place, our knowledge of coronavirus was not as good as it should be. I didn’t predict how quickly this would change. On the other hand, our knowledge of human behavior was incomplete, as we are learning. We did not foresee the level of misunderstanding or lack of scientific literacy that we would face. People know that some vaccines use mRNA, but if you don’t know enough about genetics and related sciences, you can be scared rather than relieved. People begin to embark on the tangent of “Well, what does it do to you?” Without understanding how genetics works. I understand that people have those concerns and fears, but this leads to so many vaccine hesitations. It’s a shame because, according to science, mRNA doesn’t change the body’s DNA at all.

And, of course, there are problems in developing vaccines for children. This turned out to be more difficult than previously thought as a pediatrician. It lives on this pandemic because the virus is still circulating among children and as long as the children are circulating the virus we will see more breakthrough infections in adults around them. I’m continuing.

This pandemic turns out to be over when we stop observing excessive Covid mortality on a daily basis, not only in the United States but around the world. One of the things we know is that as long as Covid is in vogue somewhere in the world, this pandemic won’t end. That does not mean that all cases must be ruled out. Eventually, immunity, mutations, or (more likely) both in the population will make the virus look like cold or annual flu, a situation that requires certain attention. Perhaps we have to vaccinate people every year as a seasonal infection in winter every year, but we no longer have these very high mortality rates.

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