First, the bad news. With unpredictable outbreaks still occurring around the world, and variants like Omicron raising questions about the virus’s contagiousness, we are very much still in a pandemic.
The good news: while it’s difficult to predict the exact timing, most scientists agree that the Covid-19 pandemic will end and that the virus will become endemic. That means the virus will probably never be eliminated entirely, but as more people get vaccinated and become exposed to it, infections will eventually arise at a consistently low rate, and fewer people will become severely ill. An area where vaccination and booster rates are high will probably see endemicity sooner than a region with lower rates.
Importantly, the return to normalcy won’t happen evenly across the globe. After people in wealthy nations ease into endemicity, those in the global south may continue to grapple with the coronavirus for a long time, as has been the case for a host of tropical diseases that have been all but forgotten in places like the US.
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