The virus won’t disappear – it will just become endemic. But it could still put pressure on health systems in years to come
As Cop26 gets under way in Glasgow this weekend, one collective action problem is taking centre stage against the backdrop of another. Covid-19 has been described as a dress rehearsal for our ability to solve the bigger problem of the climate crisis, so it seems important to point out that the pandemic isn’t over. Instead, joined-up thinking has become more important than ever for solving the problem of Covid-19.
The endgame has been obvious for a while: rather than getting rid of Covid-19 entirely, countries will get used to it. The technical word for a disease that we’re obliged to host indefinitely is “endemic”. It means that the disease-causing agent – the Sars-CoV-2 virus in this case – is always circulating in the population, causing periodic but more-or-less predictable disease outbreaks. No country has entered the calmer waters of endemicity yet; we’re all still on the white-knuckle ride of the pandemic phase.
Laura Spinney is a science journalist and the author of Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World
Read the original article at The Guardian