The coronavirus pandemic has been the one thing on everyone’s minds since the beginning of 2020. It has appeared like an isolated incident quickly risen into a worldwide disaster, infecting millions of people. It’s physically impossible to travel to any reputable news source and not be bombarded with anxiety-inducing headlines about the latest infection numbers and death tolls. The question has probably crossed your mind.
- Isn’t there more we can do to control coronavirus pandemic?
- When Will Coronavirus End?
Well, supported by the opinions of the world’s leading experts, we hope to supply some answers to those questions today. Science writer Ed Yong, who wrote a piece of writing over two years ago explaining why a worldwide pandemic was basically unavoidable, has said that there are three potential ways the pandemic can come to an end.
- The unlikely way
- The dangerous way &
- The long way
Yong suggests that the unlikely way would involve all the world’s nations suddenly cleaning up their act. And simultaneously getting their viral situations under control, through a combination of strong quarantine measures and mass-testing rollouts, very similar to the 2003 SARS outbreak. Considering how far things have escalated already, many major world powers have exhausted both preparing for and controlling the spread. This particular scenario feels more like a sort of a dream than a viable choice.
Take the US, one of the foremost developed and prosperous nations within the world, which has become the worldwide epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic. All predictive models created before the actual pandemic took place were like, the US would quickly create the widely distributed effective viral tests, which is the foundation of any successful pandemic response. However, being the superpower of the planet US showed some negligence in response to the COVID-19. And invited uncontrollable threat to their citizens.
The second possibility for how the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic might end is also the fastest. But it will also accompany some pretty horrific costs. You may have heard the term “herd immunity” thrown around lately. This refers to allowing the infection to spread, either intentionally or not, with the idea that people who recover will develop the right antibodies to fight down the virus and become immune, protecting the overall population.
This is essentially the epidemiological equivalent of allowing a fireplace to burn itself out. The problem with this type of approach is that allowing a fireplace to burn itself out will often leave the planet with little left to burn. If this approach was taken – because the US government initially intended to do – millions would die within the US alone, with tens of millions worldwide.
The third scenario is the most realistic and will cause the least casualty to human life. But it’ll also mean it’ll be far longer before society will return to normal. The general idea is that we’ll need to continue keeping up social distancing and quarantine measures. And put greater concentration on areas where outbreaks flare up until an efficient vaccine can be developed.
It’ll basically be like treating the outbreak in an entirely similar way all over the world. Together we can treat a single case of COVID-19 by treating the condition symptomatically while the immune system fights off the disease. While this might seem straightforward on paper, but it is actually quite an intense process. Not only will infections still occur across the world during this elongated period. Many vulnerable people will also die as a result. Sadly, the actual fact that more people will die as a result of COVID-19 is inevitable at this point.
The key at this stage is minimizing what percentage of those deaths occur. The actual creation of the vaccine will take quite a while. When factoring in testing, development, and distribution, to get full coverage, it’ll likely take from a year to eighteen months according to WHO (World Health Organization). During that point of time, it’s likely that the global economy will take a substantial hit, as a result of increased consumer caution under social distancing measures.
Goldman Sachs recently forecasted that there would be a 6.2% decline in US GDP as a result of the outbreak, the largest drop since the Great Depression. Experts state that this won’t mean two years of continuous lockdown. It’ll be more like several burst-like periods of social distancing. The legacy of COVID-19 is probably going to linger over the planet for years to return. Millions of people will lose their friends and relations as a result of the disease.
Though the legacy is going to be considerably less morbid under this method than under an effort at herd immunity. Just when and how exactly COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic will end though, depends on two factors, that scientists don’t fully understand yet.
- The virus’ seasonality and
- Duration of immunity.
Many Coronaviruses, like the flu and common cold, are seasonal. Meaning they tend to decline during the summer months. Whether or not the same applies to COVID-19 will make a large difference.
The same is often said for the duration of immunity. Meaning how long an individual retains the antibodies for natural immunity after first being infected. Because the seasonal flu and customary cold mutate so frequently that the duration of immunity is relatively low, typically less than a year. The SARS coronavirus of 2003, which was more severe and deadly, had a considerably longer duration of immunity. If we as a species are lucky, COVID-19 will have a duration of immunity more like SARS, than the common cold. But for now, we can only wait for scientists to gather adequate data.
In the end, the COVID-19 virus will only be defeated by outlasting it and attempting to minimize the damage it can do to people and society within the meantime. There’s no magic solution to solve this situation. Only careful and responsible personal choices, mixed with sensible government policy and vaccine development will create a positive impact.
When the COVID-19 problem finally subsides, most likely in either late 2021 or early 2022. We’ll probably need to affect a barrage of secondary problems like, from a shattered or transformed economy to a global pandemic of mental health disorders like PTSD. But for now, world governments are developing solutions. And it’s probably smartest for you to concentrate on keeping yourself safe. Remember: to keep you and others safe from COVID-19, your best bet is to socially isolate yourself and maintain good hygiene. The rest, we’re sad to admit, is out of our hands.