Its been over 7 months since the inception of COVID-19 and we are yet to make any positive development in bringing this raging virus to its knees.
Not to sound overtly negative, but we might be another 6 months away from getting any respite from this pandemic and return to our usual lifestyle.
This 6-month hopeful duration can be less or may even stretch to next year. All these conjectures on when and how COVID-19 is going to end are due to the fact that this is the first time we are experiencing such a cataclysmic event, at least in the last 100 years.
While scientists around the world are grappling to find an effective cure in record time, new information and research about the virus are coming to light every day. This may potentially hinder the process.
With all the unknowns surrounding the situation, people are extremely anxious to know the answer or even the slightest possibility of everyone going back to their beautiful normal lives.
Based on popular opinions of experts around the world, here are some of the possibilities on when and how COVID-19 might end.
Quarantine or setting up containment is one of the most common and safest ways to end any pandemic. This could be achieved by effectively containing the infected people to an isolated location, trace their contacts, and minimize the spread.
In theory, this is an effective and easy way to handle the virus, however, on a global scale, it is very difficult to implement, given the public’s ignorance or the government’s negligence.
While countries around the world have declared some form of lockdown, albeit, rather late, this is the most unlikely way for COVID-19 to end as community transmission took place even before the lockdowns were declared. This eventually led to the current situation.
Declaring another global lockdown is highly unlikely, given the current economic crisis.
Herd immunity may possibly be the most dangerous but fastest way for a pandemic to end. It means, letting the virus intentionally or unintentionally spread, infecting enough people to develop antibodies in them and eventually making them immune.
This, in turn, would leave fewer people for the virus to infect and eventually break the chain of transmission. This is similar to letting a fire burn itself so that there is nothing left to burn.
The UK government initially took to this approach, however, changed their perspective after realizing its disastrous results. Developing herd immunity would result in millions of people dying around the world, much like the Spanish flu.
Spanish flu was a similar but deadlier pandemic that broke in 1918. It infected over 500 million people and killed over 50 million people. It was believed to have originated in China and spread to the US, Europe, and other parts of the world.
Similar measures of containment like social distancing, wearing of masks, and disinfecting of public places were taken, however, due to a lack of vaccine at that time, herd immunity eventually kicked in and Spanish flu ended after 2 years, in 1920.
In the case of COVID-19, even if infected people start developing antibodies towards the virus, it is not sure how long it would protect them from it. Also, reports of recovered patients testing positive again within days of being discharged from the hospitals have started floating around.
The World Health Organization earlier stated that the COVID-19 might become an endemic disease.
An Endemic means the disease will make its presence among groups of people constantly, irrespective of the availability of a vaccine. Some of the endemic diseases are Malaria, Chickenpox, and HIV.
Historically speaking, smallpox is the only virus to be completely eradicated to date, while other viruses continue to rise occasionally.
This would mean, even after the virus situation comes under control, the COVID-19 might resurface seasonally, and dilute to a respiratory illness.
This is probably the most realistic and least damaging of all scenarios on how COVID-19 might end. However, it may also mean that we have to continue to socially distance ourself and stay in quarantine until a vaccine is developed.
Scientists around the world are working against time to develop a potent vaccine before the number of casualties increases exponentially then it already is. However, developing a vaccine is an extremely time taking process, given its 5 stages of discovery research, pre-clinical, clinical development, regulatory review and approval, and manufacturing and delivery.
All this entails at least 10 years of time and resources. That being said, the race for developing a vaccine for COVID-19 is seeing new records as scientists from many countries are trying to come up with vaccines before 2020 ends.
While scientists continue to find the cure, we as a society must be more responsible for our actions and minimize the spread by doing our bit. That includes following social distancing, maintaining proper hygiene and health.
Also, now that it is officially the flu season, you need to be more careful than before as you will be prone to catching a cold or infection more easily. If you require advice on nutrition, maintaining your health, or find any signs or symptoms, do not hesitate to reach out to us at 88-00-644-744 to book a virtual doctor consultation from the safety and comfort of your home.