Saturday, November 4, 2023

COVID-19: The Future

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, Science & Society

Ed Hessler

Tara C. Smith, a contributing writer for the science magazine Quanta wrote an essay asking one of today's big questions: "Will We Ever Get Rid of Covid-19". It has an important subtitle on the future of this infectious disease, one I think we must face. 
No matter how much we'd lie to eradicate SARS-CoV- 2, it may be better to settle for other forms of control.

I like the way she approached this task. As a science writer she knows most of the important questions. She then did the research, not based on her opinions but on what is known. 

But first, the introduction is a reminder of what we faced with Covid-19. "As the end of the year approaches, we are nearing the two year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, over 5 million have died, and that’s almost certainly an undercount, especially in countries that still lack the resources to properly test and vaccinate their populations. The U.S. has reported more than 750,000 COVID-19 deaths, and we’ve seen four surges of cases since early 2020, hoping that each would be our last. Just last week, scientists detected a heavily mutated new variant, Omnicron, which may end up leading to another rush of cases — or have no lasting effects. We still don’t know enough to tell. (Emphasis mine)

And if you want a take home message she ends with an important observation. "We need to be honest about what to expect moving forward. The specter of COVID-19 will likely always be here, but with interventions it can be defanged. Achieving this is unlikely to herald the “return to normal” so many desperately desire — but neither will illusions of eradication. (emphasis mine)

She links/discusses all the important terms so I'm not going to repeat her work but merely than her for it.

Here is the list.

-- Can we eradicate COVID-19?

-- What’s the difference between eradication, extinction and elimination of a virus?

-- What makes COVID-19 so resistant to eradication?

-- What do other animals have to do with our eradication efforts?

-- What about vaccines? 

-- Are there other reasons to be skeptical about SARS-CoV-2 eradication? 

-- What do we do instead?

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