Two steps forward and then two steps backward. That’s the reaction by many people regarding the coronavirus pandemic, as the delta variant appeared to be winding down, only to be replaced by omicron.
“Every time we think things are going to get better, then we’re hit again,” said Karestan C. Koenen, professor in the department of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The United States is currently the hardest-hit nation by the extremely contagious omicron variant. Some 1.35 million new infections were reported on Monday, the highest daily total for any country worldwide.
The uncertainty, stress and anxiety are taking a toll on people who wonder if the pandemic will ever go away.
“When will the COVID-19 pandemic end?” cried out the headline on a website article in December by McKinsey & Company, a U.S. management consulting firm. The article noted that omicron “is a sobering reminder that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) has the advantage of rapid mutation and can produce new variants faster than anyone would like.”
That concerns Dr. David Aronoff, an infectious disease expert and chair of the department of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.
Looking at the future of a pandemic that completely caught the world by surprise in 2019 “is like a public health vehicle trying to drive through the bad weather of a pandemic,” he told VOA.
“And even though we have the best headlights, we can’t see beyond this fog. In other words, we really don’t know if there’s going to be another variant that may create a lot of havoc,” he said.
“I think people are slowly starting to realize that we need to learn to live with this, because the virus is not going away,” said Dr. Lucy McBride, a primary care physician in Washington.
“It’s going to ultimately become endemic like any other rhinoviruses (like the common cold) we live with,” she predicted during an interview with VOA. “However, we may need an annual shot to protect ourselves against the infection.”
Post time: Oct-27-2022