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EDITORIAL

We May Have To Live With COVID-19 After All

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It appears that coronavirus has come to live among humans as it continues to change the world in unimaginable ways. The pandemic could last for years, experts claim, which means that the novel virus is here to stay. Embracing this reality will help the world to readjust their lives and ways, including their priorities. The normal ways of life will now give way to the ‘new normal.’ The world’s best scientists are at their wits’ end in the search for a cure for COVID-19. The best of them have also had to re-evaluate their knowledge of science and question even their understanding of basic hygiene and elementary virology. We are now in a coronavirus-tinged world without a predictable end. Health experts, around the world, have now come to agree that the coronavirus pandemic may not go away anytime soon and may, at the end of the day, become an endemic like malaria, HIV, TB, chicken pox, measles and all other diseases that have become part of humanity.
They have also argued that instead of waiting for COVID-19 to be totally eradicated, which is a tall dream as it is, the best option is to adjust and learn to live with it. The World Health Organisation recently toed this line of reasoning when it warned that the coronavirus may never go away as experts had earlier predicted. It cautioned against any attempt at trying to predict how long COVID-19 would keep circulating, as the infection rate and death toll rise by the day. «This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities. And this virus may never go away. HIV has not gone away. Well, we’ve come to terms with the virus, and we have found the therapies, and we’ve found the prevention methods. And people don’t feel as scared as they did before. And we’re offering life to people with HIV,» Dr Mike Ryan of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme said. WHO has equally advised governments the world over to ease lockdowns in a systematic step-by-step approach as detailed in the guidelines issued to curb the spread of COVID-19, even as the people must learn to live with the reality of the virus.
The question on the lips of most people is, how do we live with it safely? As it is now, the world is yet to find. From all indications, even after a vaccine has been found and deployed, it is obvious that COVID-19 will likely remain. But even at that, the vaccine will have to be available. It will also have to be highly effective and made available to everyone. We observe that although many countries have started easing confinement measures imposed earlier, they are advised to follow the guidelines issued on that. While the curves are flattening in some areas, they are taking dangerous shapes in some others.
From all indications, even after a vaccine has been found and deployed, it is obvious that COVID-19 will likely remain. But even at that, the vaccine will have to be available. It will also have to be highly effective and made available to everyone. We observe that although many countries have started easing confinement measures imposed earlier, they are advised to follow the guidelines issued on that. While the curves are flattening in some areas, they are taking dangerous shapes in some others.

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