Future of covid and how we can know what may happen? Covid has been one of the most talked-about viruses in the history of humanity. The media coverage that it got worldwide made it even scarier to face. So what is the future of covid? Truth be told there were other pandemics in our history, that people back then thought impossible to cure. Take the black plague for example or the Spanish flu. They took millions of lives but people still managed to outlive them. To know what can happen in the future with the coronavirus, we must look at our past.
The one thing that is certain is that pandemics always end. And actually until this day vaccines have never played a significant role in ending them. (That doesn’t mean vaccines aren’t playing an important role for the corona virus.)
However, back in 1918, there were no flu vaccines for the virus, H1N1. In 1957, when the H2N2 pandemic took over the world, the flu vaccine was given mainly to the military. In the pandemic of 1968, which brought us H3N2, the United States produced nearly 22 million doses of vaccine. However, by the time, it was ready the worst of the pandemic had passed. Therefore the vaccine wasn’t so useful.
Well then, how did those pandemics end exactly? No, the viruses don’t just evaporate into thin air. A descendent of the Spanish flu virus, the modern H1N1, circulates to this day, as does H3N2. A pathogen can stop spreading because so many people are protected against it because they’ve already been infected or vaccinated.
The main part is that the viruses that caused these pandemics underwent a transition, or more likely we did. Our immune systems learned enough about them to fend off the deadliest manifestations of infection, at least most of the time. Instead of causing devastating illness to many people, over time the viruses just triggered small surges of milder illness. Pandemic flu became seasonal flu.
That’s the big, unanswerable question. “I thought that we’d be out of this acute phase already,” admitted Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s leading coronavirus expert.
“There’s nothing including the virus variants, that suggests we couldn’t be out of the acute phase already,” she told STAT in a recent interview. “Because this is controllable.”
Experience from the last four pandemics (the ones that we talked about above) tells us that viruses morph from pandemic pathogens to endemic sources of disease within a year and a half or two of emerging. However, a different pathogen can mean that we will see a different pattern.
Getting the corona or having a vaccine will train our immune system and that will likely turn future Covid-19 infections into the equivalent of a cold. Over time, as a degree of protection becomes more standard in adults, the people who will most commonly catch Covid will be young kids, but they rarely suffer from serious infections.
Marc Lipsitch, an infectious diseases epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health said “That essentially, almost everybody has some form of immunity from natural infection and/or vaccination and/or one followed by the other, and that that will persist long enough so that they don’t get really sick when they get it again. And then we transition to endemicity.”
So in the end we can only wait and see how this plays out and how the virus will intertwine with our immune systems over time. What is the future of covid? Only time will tell.
Autor: Mihaella Ahchieva