It seems that COVID-19 may soon become a mainstay in our daily lives. (You know, more than it already is now.)
That’s an L for travel-starved wanderers, but a W for various vaccine manufacturers.
COVID-19 May Become Part of Our Daily Lives As Herd Immunity Becomes More Unlikely
According to The Straits Times, the virus may well become an ever-present threat. The foreboding warning comes after rapid realisations that the virus is more potent than we once thought, as we watch various countries get hit with wave after wave of infections.
It is, said experts, mutating too quickly. New and more contagious variants are constantly springing up, and vaccinations are not happening fast enough.
These have led to weakened hopes of achieving herd immunity, which is the point whereby the virus would lack enough hosts to do its usual damage, anytime soon.
And if it persists in its behavior around the world, the virus could possibly join the ranks of other diseases such as tubercolosis or HIV in becoming endemic instead of a pandemic.
For those who don’t know what that means, “endemic” is used to refer to a disease or condition that can be regularly found among particular people or in a certain area.
But not all is bleak. Though we may have to contend with an ever-present threat of COVID-19, the risk level may not be anywhere near the severity of the current situation.
“This is the natural progression of many infections we have in humans, whether it is tuberculosis or HIV,” said Dr Heymann, a former member of the Epidemiology Intelligence Service (EIS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a former senior official at the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“They have become endemic and we have learned to live with them and we learn how to do risk assessments and how to protect those we want to protect.”
And Dr Michael Merson, a professor of global health at Duke University and former director of WHO’s Global Programme on AIDS, concurs, “It may be endemic, but not in a life-threatening way.”
In this case, we could see periodically updated vaccines developed to cope with the virus.
Natural immunity may also be cultivated within our bodies.
“It may be more like what we see with young kids, a common cold-like disease,” he added.
At present, India is currently struggling with a fearsome second wave of infections.
The Indian strain of COVID-19 has come to be known as one of the most lethal variants to date, with an especially dangerous rate of infection. WHO has officially declared it a variant of concern (VOC).
To know more about VOCs, watch this video to the end:
Several countries in Asia and Latin America are also dealing with their fair share of pandemic-induced repercussions.
On the vaccination front, only two countries have completely vaccinated more than half of their populations thus far. They are Israel and the East African nation of the Seychelles.
Only a handful, such as Britain and the US, have partially vaccinated nearly 50% or more.
Over in India, less than 10% are said to have been vaccinated. Africa currently stands at slightly more than 1%, and Singapore has fully vaccinated about 15% of its population.
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