Yes that is the question: is the pandemic ending after more than two years and 6 million deaths when it started? The short answer is no. Not yet. But there is an upside, or a cautious optimism, to the outlook. Allow me to elaborate.
According to the World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusm, the pandemic is not over. “We lower our guard at our own peril,” he said. Which is true given the ease of travel and the open border between countries, the Coronovirus will continue as long as there are cases.
But at current rate, it will become an endemic like the flu before the end of this year, provided no new variant of the virus emerges. The last part of the sentence is the key. A report by the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company explains.
The Omicron variant of the Coronavirus is “the most infectious human viruses known to science” the report states. As results, vaccines and therapeutics have been developed over the past two years. These developments effectively combat the virus in reducing associated hospitalization and death rates.
In other words, we have learned to deal with the Omicron and its previous versions. And, if the Omicron stays as the dominant variant (a big IF at this time) this pandemic phase of the Coronavirus can be deemed over. What remain will follow the endemic protocols – periodic immunization shot or treatment.
Therefore, while not over, there is a cautious optimism on the future of this dreaded pandemic. Even if a new variant does emerge, its threat will be controlled and effect minimized based on the accumulated experiences acquired. Not time to celebrate. But at least we can breathe a bit easier.
Are you optimistic about the pandemic ending this year?