In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been one constant question tinging in our minds: When will things be back to the old normal? The new vaccines may offer a semblance of normalcy, but the wider question of when will the pandemic be fully over is harder to answer.

Would We Have to Live With COVID-19 Pandemic Forever?

History tells us that notwithstanding the global vaccine dissemination, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic will be gradual. Many new public health measures will become permanent. Also, we may have to live with respiratory illness forever.

According to Professor Janaki Amin, head of the Macquarie University's Department of Health Systems and Populations, "It will be a long time before we can take international travel for granted, and some level of border restrictions will be in place for months and perhaps years to come. The disease emerged so recently, and vaccines were developed very quickly, so there are still many unknowns," reported The Lighthouse.

The number of daily new novel coronavirus cases in the United States has plummeted significantly in the past month by a remarkable 45 percent since early January. The pace of vaccinations has continued to rise steadily over the past few weeks. This quadruples the number of shots per day in a month's time, reported Vox.

We are moving closer to the tenth month of the pandemic. There is no apparent respite on a global scale from the highly infectious contagion. The number of coronavirus cases currently has crossed the 30 million mark across the globe.

COVID-19 is unlikely to go away for good. The worldwide race to inoculate as many people as possible will usher in a new phase of our combatting against the virus. There is little chance it will deliver a knockout blow, reported Wired.

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Five Years of Pandemic

Now, a new Bloomberg assessment has evaluated all the variables and worked out a surmise. Their new analysis projects the pandemic will be around for another five years.

Notwithstanding the lack of community infection, epidemiology historian Professor Peter Curson agrees we will never entirely wipe out the virus. According to Curson, who is Emeritus Professor of Population and Health at Macquarie University, "The only disease humans have eliminated throughout history was smallpox, which was done through widespread vaccination over decades. But the diseases causing pandemics don't just disappear; most find a permanent reservoir in animals, making them almost impossible to eliminate."

The number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the US remains to be too high. When controlling for the population, the rates of such are still greater than that in most developed countries. The vaccine dissemination is still going too gradually for the pandemic to end in the summer. The current pace puts us on track for reaching adequate population protection as late as 2022.

COVID-19 first emerged as a pneumonia-like illness in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. It has engulfed 213 countries.

There are two scenarios that may mark the start of the end of the pandemic. The first one is a social ending, and the other option is a medical ending. The medical elimination of the pandemic is rooted in the creation of a safe and effective vaccine for the novel coronavirus and following the social protocols strictly.

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