It’s now been two years since the United States shut down due to the rising amount of COVID-19 cases across the country. And experts are still unsure how the pandemic will come to a close.
Driving the news: Pandemics don’t all end the same. Each pandemic throughout history has a different endgame, mostly due to the science and medication available at the time.
- But scientists and researchers are looking at past pandemics for clues on what’s to come next with COVID-19.
What they said: Erica Charters of the University of Oxford, who studies pandemic history, told The Associated Press that pandemics don’t end quickly.
- “One thing we have learned is it’s a long, drawn-out process,” she told The Associated Press.
Pandemics often have three types of endings:
- Medical end — a time when the disease isn’t as fervent in our society.
- Political end — when the society reduces restrictions and safety measures.
- Social end — when people in society move on from the virus.
State of play: The World Health Organization previously cautioned the world against assuming the COVID-19 pandemic is over since there are still cases spiking across the world.
- Most recently, Hong Kong has felt the brunt of an omicron wave.
- And researchers are still searching for new COVID-19 variants, which could turn the tide of the pandemic as quickly as the delta and omicron variants did.
What to expect: Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said at the beginning of February that the pandemic may soon end and normality will return in the spring, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
- “We don’t see anything on the horizon that’s going to dramatically alter that trajectory.”