This is a question we have been asking ourselves since we declared a new coronavirus pandemic on 11 March 2020.
Although the measures are relaxed in the summer and give us hope that the pandemic may end soon, with the colder months we get new infections again and the feeling that this will never end.
The pandemic will end, but that doesn’t mean we will exterminate the virus. It will probably stay with us and continue to circulate among the population.
We have learned from previous pandemics that diseases are difficult to eradicate. Especially if they are as contagious and mutate like the coronavirus.
Vaccines are still our most powerful weapon against the new coronavirus.
Therefore, scientists rely on the fact that our immune system will eventually get used to it and therefore it will no longer be so dangerous. Of course, vaccines help a lot.
»If we can reduce the number of deaths below a certain level and continue with normal life, we can say that the pandemic is over,« says researcher Dr. Jagpreet Chhatwal.
However, so far only 28 percent of the world’s population has received the vaccine, which is not encouraging.
Poorer countries lack vaccines, while other countries reject them because of doubts about their effectiveness.
Such low vaccination coverage allows the virus to spread faster and increases the likelihood of new versions.
So when will the pandemic end? This will be determined by the World Health Organization when it judges that the virus is under control and gives it endemic virus status.
Alternatively, the public will decide for itself that the pandemic is over and will no longer take action despite the unsustainable spread of the virus. Such a response could lead to many deaths.
An epidemic is the sudden spread of a disease in a particular area, a pandemic is the spread of a disease across multiple countries and continents.
Points to Consider
- Are you still following the coronavirus control measures?
- Do you know any past pandemics?
- What is an endemic virus?
The original version of this article was published on August 25th.