This blog post was written before the recent news about several vaccines being in a late stage of development, and may be ready for large scale distribution in the spring. There is even more reason to be optimistic than when I wrote this.
This is not the new normal
Some people are saying that this, living under the restrictions of a pandemic, is the new normal. Bit that is not so, pandemics come and pandemics go, so even though things are tightening up as a second wave of Covid-19 strikes, this is not how things are going to be for good.
How long will Covid-19 last?
Covid will be around for as long as it takes for as long as it takes for herd immunity, either from having had the disease or being vaccinated. Once the rate of infection is down to below one without restrictions it will quickly fade.
Comparing this infections to two viral pandemics in the 20th century:
1918 – 1920
The H1N1 virus, commonly called Spanish flu, despite the initial outbreak being in Kansas, United States, had its first wave in March 1918, the second and largest wave in October and November that year, being very prevalent during the Armistice, and the third wave in the spring of 1919. H1N1 is still endemic in humans and causes a small percentage of seasonal flu each year. H1N1 killed an estimates 50 million people either directly of as a result of secondary infections such as pneumonia between 1918 and 1920.
1957 – 1958
The H2N2 virus was first reported in February 1947 in Singapore reaching Hog Kong in April, the UK in May and the USA in the summer. It cost about 1.1 million deaths worldwide.
The big difference was vaccination. there was no vaccine against H1D1 in 1918 – 1920, nor antibiotics for the pneumonia that accompanied the virus. There was a vaccine in 1947, in the USA in August and in the UK in October. Immunisation makes a big difference, do not listen to the antivax idiots.
Vaccine or not, most vaccine trials do not result in an effective medicine, we are only in this foe a short time, a little over two years at the most. We have antibiotics which are minimising the risk from bacterial infections, we know more about how to deal with pandemics and we have learnt a lot about this latest virus in the first wave.
Being in the second wave of a pandemic, which tends to be the largest one, it may look bleak. but pandemics have a lifespan. Things will get better.