Covid will become an endemic disease.The world must decide what this means

A month ago, It feels like we can see the future. The booster is being launched. School-age children are getting a second shot so that they can see their grandparents during the winter vacation. Life in the United States is moving in a direction that may seem normal—of course, not what it was before the pandemic, but it may be a glimpse after the pandemic.

Then came Omicron variantsJust like Delta Air Lines chilled the hot summer in July, it completely shattered hopes for the holidays. A few weeks later, we are still not sure what it indicates.It is huge More communicable. It may or Must not Become more is Tear pass through Country and passed Friends group And sending university Back online For the spring semester.

This is not the end of the year we want, but this is the end of the year we get. In it, like a gift basket that has been accidentally left under a tree for too long, there is a decadent fact hidden: the vaccine, which looks like a salvation in 2021, is effective, but not enough to save us. If we are to save 2022, we must also undergo masking, testing, and sometimes even staying at home, which epidemiologists broadly call non-pharmacological interventions or NPIs.

Acknowledging complexity will allow us to practice on the day Covid enters the cycle, Endemic virus. That day has not yet arrived; enough people are still in a vulnerable state, and we must be prepared for mutation and surge. But at some point, we will achieve a balance of how much we are willing to do to control Covid and how much disease and death we will tolerate to stay there.

“The key question-the world has not yet been dealt with on this scale in living memory-is how do we move on from an acute state rationally and emotionally? [emergency] Transition to an endemic state? “Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease doctor, is the head of Wellcome Trust’s global health philanthropy. “That transition period will be very bumpy, and it will look very, very different around the world. “

First, let us figure out what is endemic and what is not. The epidemic does not mean that there will be no more infections, let alone disease and death. This does not mean that future infections will lead to a milder disease than the present. In short, it shows that immunity and infection will reach a steady state. Not enough people have immunity to deny that the virus is the host. Not enough people can easily cause widespread outbreaks.

Colds are endemic-because some types of colds are caused by other coronaviruses, some people speculate that this type of coronavirus may Finally mild also. (Coronavirus OC43 was introduced to humans in the late 1800s and it took a century to achieve this.) But the flu is also endemic, and in the years before we started wearing masks, it could kill anywhere 20,000 to 50,000 Americans Per year. In other words, locality is not a guarantee of safety.On the contrary, as epidemiologist Ellie Murray said, this is a necessary guarantee Guard against all the time.

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