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'Will COVID Ever End?'

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By Elizabeth Hanes, BSN, RNSeptember 11, 2020

Dealing with COVID-19 has many of us feeling weary, wondering will this ever end??

Believe me, I’m with you.

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer (I doubt you’re surprised -- this is COVID, after all).

But in a nutshell, no, I don’t think “coronavirus disease” (COVID) will ever end. Personally, I believe (as do some researchers) that this illness will be with us forever -- just like the common cold and influenza.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic eventually will end. At some point, enough people likely will develop some level of immunity to SARS-CoV-2, either because they got sick from the virus or because they received a vaccination. (Reminder: We do not yet know how much immunity you truly have after recovering from the virus or how long that immunity might last.)

One likely scenario for post-pandemic life involves periodic outbreaks of COVID-19 that are less widespread (thanks to vaccines) and also more treatable (thanks to the development of new medications). Again, while SARS-CoV-2 is much more contagious and deadly than influenza, we can look to the way we live with flu as an example of how our lives might look after the COVID-19 pandemic ends: receiving periodic vaccinations against the virus but understanding that some people still will get sick and die from the disease.

If you’re weary of this pandemic, it’s important to remember that you can literally help bring about the end of it by taking individual actions to curb its spread. Practice social distancing. Wear a mask at all times in public. Wash your hands frequently. These practices buy researchers valuable time to develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. So, please, do your part to bring this pandemic to an end as quickly as possible.




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