Coronavirus: Is Omicron the end of the pandemic? - The good and the bad scenario

What US experts point out in an extensive report in the New York Times

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Η Omicron variant has created a particular backdrop for the pandemic: There has been, in a way, a tug-of-war between experts and governments as to how serious it is, what its morbidity is, if we reach the end of the road or if optimistic voices do not particularly useful in problem management.

The New York Times, in their regular information on developments concerning Covid-19, note that there are many encouraging signs in the US right now about what follows after Omicron.

The scenarios for the next day

As it is emphasized, there are many people who are excited by the idea that the number of vaccinated and those who have become ill will soon be so large that the coronavirus will not find a place to move, therefore its role as something so will weaken. important in our lives.

NYT editor Aororva Mantavili, who covers Health reporting, initially gives an optimistic version. "The best case scenario is that the Omicron variant is the last bad variant and that the worst is behind us. "It is possible that as early as March or April, we will begin to return to some version of our pre-epidemic life."

The American newspaper estimates that by the spring in the Northeastern United States, and a little later in other parts, many Americans will go to work without a mask, their children will only take life lessons at school and they will meet members of the same. family and friends without fear.

"This phase in which we return to our normal activities could last all spring, all summer, perhaps until autumn or winter - or possibly forever." emphasizes the author.

In this scenario, many may experience a mild infection every few years, as with coronaviruses that cause the common cold, but will not get seriously ill. Only those at high risk of Covid would need booster doses adapted to the latter variant.

The idea that Omicron is the last outbreak of the coronavirus has a huge impact. However, the NYT author spoke to more than a dozen epidemiologists, immunologists and evolutionary biologists who told her that the course of the virus in the United States seems more complicated.

Scientists have for some time come to an agreement that it is unlikely that we will reach herd immunity and that the virus will disappear completely. Instead, the virus seems likely to become endemic, a permanent part of our lives that, like the flu, we must deal with.

"However, just because a virus is endemic does not mean it is low risk." the NYT notes and adds: "Tuberculosis is a perfect example. It is endemic in many parts of the world and last year, 1,5 million people died from it. ". The future also depends on an unpredictable "wild card": The new variations of the virus.

The briefing adds that unlike the popular myth, there is no guarantee that the coronavirus will take a milder form. Even if the next variant is as mild as Omicron, or even milder, a highly contagious variant or a variant that bypasses our immunity can overwhelm hospitals and wreak havoc.

As for what lies ahead, the NYT notes that Americans should hope for the best, but be prepared to live for a longer period of time with less than that. "We are closer to the end, but let us not drop our defenses immediately, assuming we are completely finished."