We can cautiously say it is looking more like an endemic than a pandemic and the worst of the pandemic is over. However, the expectation of Covid-19 becoming endemic doesn’t mean we will be living virus free; instead, the virus will still be around but without having a negative impact on our lives. While many experts believe the Covid-19 virus will never be eradicated and will continue to circulate, we will learn to live with it and move on with our daily activities without the large-scale social disruption, and long-term restrictions.
Occasionally, we may see modest surges and spikes of Covid-19 in the communities and slight increase in hospitalization with short term restrictions needed in emergencies. However, our overall immunity has been improving over time due to the Covid-19 vaccination as well as natural infection especially after omicron variant surge with the anticipation that any future Covid-19 waves may be less severe and of a lower magnitude.
There is no way our experience with the Covid-19 virus and the pandemic is the same as we started beginning of 2020. We have learned so much over the past two years. Researchers and scientists are more knowledgeable with the virus’s behavior and the disease’s treatment and healthcare providers have gained more experience taking care of Covid-19 patients.
No doubt that the advances in Covid-19 vaccines and treatment will help us reach the endemic state and enter a new stage of having more control of coronavirus spread.
Using all the options in our hands to fight the virus will play in our favor. With the approval of Covid-19 vaccines, oral treatments and monoclonal antibody, our lives regarding getting infected with the virus will be a lot easier to deal with. Vaccination can definitely help stop the spread of Covid-19 virus and down grade the disease transmission risks. Based on the scientific evidence, vaccine works. Vaccination decrease the amount of severe cases, hospitalizations and death. Boosters also designed to target new variants could also become common place. Oral treatment such as paxlovid can treat and help reduce the severity of illness.
However, all this is not enough to have full control over the virus. There should be more emphasis on global vaccination and closing the vaccine equity gap to stop the spread. It is very important to get enough people vaccinated not just in the rich countries but all over the world to be able to transition to a manageable endemic disease state and we must work globally toward pushing the world toward having its fair share of the vaccine. According to the World Health Organization, only 16% of people in low-income countries have received a single vaccine dose- compared to 80% in high-income countries. Furthermore, strong surveillance, testing, and sequencing is very crucial in tracking the changes of Covid-19 virus and having more understanding over the spread of the virus. In addition, raising awareness and putting a stop to misleading information will also help vaccine skeptics and hesitant people change their minds about the vaccination.
Improving vaccine access, maintaining public health services including surveillance and testing, using all vaccination and treatment options will play a big role in ending this pandemic and shift it to more manageable endemic