We might be living with COVID risks for years to come

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Credit: Good Housekeeping
Credit: Good Housekeeping

There’s a growing consensus among health experts: Covid-19 may never go away. We’ll likely always have some coronavirus out there, infecting people and, hopefully only in rare cases, getting them seriously ill. The realistic goal is to defang the virus — make it less deadly — not eliminate it entirely.

This is not a surrender to the virus. For a long time, we’ve lived with the seasonal flu, a family of viruses that kills up to tens of thousands of Americans each year. While we can and should take steps to mitigate the risks of the flu (including getting vaccinated for it every year), we’ve never been willing to shut down society or close in-person schooling to fully eradicate it. Americans have accepted some level of risk to continue living normally.

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While we still have to get more people vaccinated, at a certain point we’ll have to acknowledge we’ve done what we can. It might not be ideal, but we can learn to live with a vaccine-weakened version of Covid-19 — hopefully not too unlike how we’ve long dealt with the flu.

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