From Pandemic to Endemic: Here’s How We Go Back to Normal | US News

First, the bad news. We are still in a pandemic as unpredictable outbreaks are still occurring around the world and variants like Omicron are questioning the infectivity of the virus.

Good news: It’s difficult to predict the exact timing, Most scientists agree The Covid-19 pandemic is over and the virus becomes endemic. This means that the virus is unlikely to be completely eliminated, but as more people are vaccinated and exposed to the virus, the infection will eventually occur at a consistently lower rate and become more severe. It will be less.Areas with high vaccination and booster immunity Probably a fad Faster than low rate areas.

What does that transition look like?

In fact, there is an announcement. The World Health Organization and local health organizations officially declare a pandemic. Biological and statistical benchmarks: Virus infectivity, mortality rate, power to overwhelm hospitals, etc.

Like the United States and other wealthy countries with immediate access to vaccines and antiviral treatments, people out of despair, piles of food in restaurants, and increasingly rigorously checked vaccine cards. In the place of the department, the epidemic may look like it is now. However, there may also be other, more serious social changes.

You can look at the history of useful (even incomplete) guides to understand how everyday life changes in the event of a Covid-19 epidemic.

Changes in attitude and behavior

People generally respond epidemic to fear and panic, both at the individual level and as a society. According to Charles Kenny, director of the Center for Global Development and author of The Plague Cycle, these reactions ensure in several now recognizable ways: closing borders, isolating the sick, and withdrawing from society. It will be shaped.

Until the advent of modern medicine, all that could be done was to expect (and pray) for the outbreak to subside naturally. When a disease becomes inevitable or endemic, societies will often move forward to reconstruct the disease as part of their daily lives. This may also be true for Covid-19.

Kenny’s book offers one potential preview. In 17th century Japanese cities, attitudes towards smallpox changed as smallpox became endemic. By that time, most people had already been exposed as children and then recovered. When people accepted that “everyone would get smallpox,” Kenny ritualized it, normalized it as a childhood milestone, and made it part of the “Growth Story.”

For Covid, it’s too early to say how this normalization process evolves.However, if the infection turns out to be a normal part of the winter months, they can simply be absorbed by what is known as Cold and flu season.. Like smallpox in Japanese cities, the changes are reflected in people’s language and daily expectations. already,”Covid season“.

Effective medical intervention also facilitates the acceptance of the idea that society coexists with illness. “My parents were scared [of polio]Says Nancy Thoms, a professor of history at Stony Brook University and author of The Gospel of Germs... Tomes, on the other hand, is part of the “generation of attending local high schools and getting sugar cubes” and refers to the common method of dispensing polio vaccines given orally.

“After that, I stopped worrying about polio,” says Tomes.

Covid is still widespread, but with the advent of effective vaccines, the scope of its threat has changed rapidly.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March, when only 9.2% of Americans were fully vaccinated Relaxed social distance guidance To allow immunized people to gather indoors. And at Thanksgiving, Joe Biden said the United States “returnFrom a pandemic hibernation – nearly 100,000 new Covid-19 cases are still identified daily.

Pointing and false alarm

Unfortunately, history suggests that some negative behaviors associated with pandemics tend to continue after the disease becomes endemic or eradicated. One of these is the imbalanced targeting of groups that are perceived as “outsiders” in a dominant society. Once the pandemic subsides, Kenny says it is likely that social restrictions will remain “affecting minority groups.”

The 1987 travel ban on the exclusion of foreigners and homosexual disgust against HIV-infected persons in the United States 22 years old.. And today, people who are unfairly related to Covid, such as those in Asia and Africa, are still harassed, even though they fully understand that the coronavirus does not identify race. Is locked out.

Misinformation and conspiracy theories tend to be epidemic as well. The “Shit Show” and Tomes have a legacy of “dating back to all the epidemics we recorded.” Some of these misconceptions have proven to maintain power. “Some people still don’t believe that HIV causes AIDS,” she says.

During a pandemic, groups of people are also likely to develop extreme views on topics that stir up strong opinions that they did not initially have, such as vaccination and personal freedom. Even after the pandemic is over, the phenomenon of “group polarization” can remain “prolonged in the background” and therefore tends to be “upset again when something similar happens”.

Know what we can’t (yet) know

The important thing is that returning to normal is not evenly done around the world. After the epidemic of people in wealthy countries, people in the southern world may continue to wrestle with the coronavirus for a long time, as is the case with many tropical diseases that have been largely forgotten in places like the United States. ..

Like all infectious diseases that hit the world before that, Sars-CoV-2, for better or for worse, will disappear into distant memory. This oblivion can bring relief, growth, and recovery, but it can also leave you unprepared for the next pandemic. The 1918 flu taught us that masking and social distance can reduce death, says Kenny – a lesson we relearned in late 2020.

From Pandemic to Endemic: Here’s How We Go Back to Normal | US News

Source link From Pandemic to Endemic: Here’s How We Go Back to Normal | US News

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