All signs point to the little spiky-ball dictatorship finally being thrown off.
The public thinks so. The stock market thinks so. Many experts think so. They welcome the post-COVID-19 world. In fact, many believe we have already reached a place where COVID-19 ceases to be a pandemic that is deadly and becomes endemic, and erupts in waves here and there – not deadly waves – but more like flu and common cold waves. The kind of nuisance that won’t kill you. (It should be quickly added that flu is indeed deadly, but not with the ferocity of COVID-19.)
More and more, the consensus seems to be growing in the direction of what author Jason Tetro told Infection control today® in a Q&A on Oct. 22. “I think in the future we will discuss this idea of seasonality, or as I like to say it, cold, flu and COVID-19 seasons.” And the so-called ‘sample variant’ of COVID-19 – a variant that would be immune to antibodies, whether produced by vaccines or a previous infection? We’ve already been hit with the monster variant, Tetro said. It’s called the Delta variant and it burns itself out because it’s not immune to the vaccines.
“That’s our monster variant,” Tetro told IT®. “Since Delta took over, we’ve seen other variants appear. They don’t do anything. There’s even something called Delta plus that doesn’t do much. In that light, I think we may be at the worst when it comes to what COVID-19 has to offer.”
Scott Gottlieb, MD, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, certainly agrees with that assessment. on Face the nation On Sunday, Gottlieb said that “we are entering a more endemic phase and as things improve, cases may increase. … But that doesn’t mean we are entering another wave of infection.”
Gottlieb said we can finally put this nightmare behind us with the creation of a vaccine for children as young as 5 and pills in the pipeline, from Pfizer and Merck, that will allow people to treat COVID-19 at home.
“We’ve always said that two of the events that would mark the end of this pandemic were the vaccination of our children,” Gottlieb said. Face the nation. “We can do that now until the age of five. And also about a widely available or orally accessible drug that could treat the coronavirus at home to prevent people from being hospitalized or dying.”
All of this gives credence to a prediction by Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, an infectious disease expert and professor at the University of California, San Francisco. She predicted in a Q&A with IT® in October 2020 – that’s right, October 2020-that the “old normal” will return by January 2022.
“I think we’ll go to the cinema,” Gandhi . said IT®. “That people go to the theater. People go to sporting events. Will hug each other. Will hang out. We’re going back to normal, but it’s going to take a year and a half. January 2022. It’s so hard to say. But I do think it will last until January 2022. We need to cut down on community communication. We need to get a vaccine. We will vaccinate the entire population and then it will stop because it has nowhere to go because we have immunity and we will get there.”
Much of the public in the United States thinks we’re already there, according to the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
“A majority of Americans (55%) believe that returning to their normal pre-coronavirus lives is now a small risk or no risk to their health,” the Index said, a marked increase since the “Delta-driven, low of 40 %.”
The stock market certainly agrees, according to Axios — it’s “exploding.”
“Stocks move for all kinds of reasons,” reports Axios. “But the declines reflect a shift that lingers: Home workouts and distance learning are out. Travel and gyms are in.”
Ross Klein, a fund manager at Changebridge Capital, which is invested in gym chain Planet Fitness, told Axios, “People say, ‘Hey, you know, I go back to the office two days a week, maybe I should go back to my old gym routine.’ ”
Still, a word of warning.
Infection Prevention and Control Expert Saskia v. Popescu, PhD, MPH, MA, CIC, Member of IT®‘s Editorial Advisory Board, recently wrote that “considering this rather unfamiliar holiday season – now is the time to talk to staff about what may increase or decrease the risk of COVID-19 during the holidays. These are especially important as there are more boosters, but they may not necessarily realize that they don’t suddenly become Superman.”