Don’t expect closure on the pandemic. COVID is here for a while even if vaccines prove to work

file od jh
Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

Whatever the end of the pandemic might look like, the United States is nowhere close to it at the moment; week after week, hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to test positive for COVID-19, and several thousand die from it. But when the threat of the pandemic does eventually subside, the process will likely be gradual and incremental. “I don’t think there’s going to be, all of a sudden, one day when we can all go make out with people at the grocery store,” [said epidemiologist] Julia Marcus.

One intuitive end point is full-on eradication—meaning that the coronavirus no longer circulates in humans or animals—but that outcome is quite unlikely, in part because of how easily the virus could continue to reach still-susceptible groups of people anywhere on Earth even well into the future.

Related article:  Over 60 years, vaccines have prevented 4.5 billion cases and saved 10 million lives. Now anti-vaxxers want to roll back the clock
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

This suggests a different definition of the end of the pandemic, one based not on case counts or governors’ directives but on people’s individual experiences. Under this definition, the pandemic ends in one person’s head at a time. And as Marcus noted, “the pandemic has already ended for some people: There are people who feel that this was never a thing. There are people who decided it’s no longer a thing.” More of these premature mental endings—and more accurate endings later on—will arrive, but not all at once.


Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend