When will the pandemic end? This is what experts believe

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has brought the world to a standstill, once again – putting a pause to normal life, hampering daily routines with restrictions being imposed worldwide. As the uncertainty continues, stress and anxiety have been taking a toll on people leaving them with just one question – When will the pandemic end?

While few governments are coming around to the idea that Covid may be endemic like the flu, many experts are weighing the probability where Omicron might be the end of this pandemic.

With the variant spreading like wildfire all across the globe, some experts have said that the widespread infection from Omicron could actually push Covid out of the pandemic phase. The theory behind this is that the mild infection which is caused by the Omicron variant may lead to widespread immunity, thus deeming it as a “natural vaccine.”

Professor Ian Jones, who happens to be a virologist at the University of Reading in England has backed this theory as he believes that just like the flu, Omicron does not pose any major threat.

He further claimed that the Omicron variant could boost immunity without becoming a cause for serious illness.

Also read | Are we ready to treat Covid like the flu? Some nations are increasingly thinking so

However, another theory is where the experts believe that the Covid pandemic has now become endemic. This phenomenon occurs when a specific virus is found regularly in a particular area or among people.

In an endemic like situation, the virus is more manageable and people somehow learn to cope up with it.

Experts in the US say that most of the population will be infected with the Omicron variant, and WHO itself said more than half of Europe will have the virus in coming days, both pointing towards it becoming as common as the flu.

As of now, the WHO has warned against such a conclusion.

Meanwhile, Spain recently became the first European country to move towards ending mask mandates. Several other European nations are also looking forward to relaxing Covid restrictions even after a spike in cases.

It may still be early days but admittedly, neither lockdowns nor vaccinations are completely preventing the spread.