The U.S. is now losing all hopes of eliminating COVID-19 by generating vaccine-generated immune responses. Instead, with the rapid spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant, we need to focus on 2022 as the year that in the U.S. will usher in a new era of “living with the virus.”
It is a transition from pandemicity and endemicity in epidemiology terms. As the virus leaves its initial phase of devastation, it moves into a period of temporary flare-ups that can be triggered by sporadic local outbreaks. Finally, it enters long-term cohabitation. SARS-CoV-2 is still a risk to unvaccinated Americans. However, experts think it won’t pose any major health threat to people who have been vaccinated or are naturally immune to the virus. The widespread U.S. natural immunity system has led to over 800,000. deaths, a large trail of COVID disability, and severe economic, mental, and educational damages. Omicron is expected to increase this number, although the impact on health will decrease with Omicron’s projected close universal infected.
It doesn’t matter if you are more concerned about the common cold, flu or toll of motor vehicle crashes, 2022 COVID-19 is expected to become an identifiable individual and societal threat, but not disrupt your daily life, family, and community. While this may be an uphill and rough ride, it is possible to return to the pre-pandemic norm.
How will 2022’s endemic change affect our lives, how we travel, live and work and what we do to gather, share and celebrate life? Omicron has been causing an endemic reversion back to the days when avoiding infection is the main concern for a significant portion of society.
Forecasting COVID-19 can be a difficult task. It is a complex multidisciplinary task that requires the integration of a variety of socio, psychological, political, and cultural factors. Continuous testing, reassessment and revision of forecasts are necessary due to the constant evolution of information, uncertainty, and debate.
Below are four ways we can live with this virus in 2022.
1) COVID-19’s disease burden will decline
Disease burden—medically called “virulence”—is defined as serious illness requiring hospitalization and causing deaths. It is. NotThese are mainly used to indicate the number of cases and infections in an area. Omicron, a more dangerous variant of the Delta virus but with fewer virulentities than its Delta counterpart is Omicron. Omicron can quickly spread through remaining U.S. citizens, causing occasional increases in hospitalization rates. However, it shouldn’t cause widespread overwhelm of hospital facilities in U.S. areas that have high levels vaccines and natural immunity as well as where vulnerable populations are protected.
As with any virus that causes a preponderance of asymptomatic infection or mild illness, going forward it will be increasingly recognized that cases—as defined by positive tests—will generally not serve as a useful metric upon which to base public health decisions.
This dynamic relationship between individual immunity and the population’s protection against serious illness is changing over time. Today, approximately 205 millions Americans have received their vaccines. 53 million people have had positive COVID test results from the CDC. It estimates that over 150 million Americans are infected. Many in these two groups overlap to an unknown degree, but it’s likely that well over 80% of the 330 million Americans have at least some immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Effective population immunity will increase with the availability of boosters, and an extremely communicable variant. This is in addition to what we already know.
The virus’s vulnerability to people is declining, regardless of whether they are infected by the virus through their actions (vaccination or infection). There are likely to be many more strains, although evolutionary biology and past pandemic history indicate that they will probably become less infectious and less deadly. The ability to quickly produce vaccines with greater precision and higher levels of specificity has allowed vaccine technology to adapt.
2) The protection of the elderly and immunocompromised needs to be given more resources and attention
About 75% of the nearly 800,000. U.S. COVID-19-related deaths have occurred in people over 65. CDC data revealed that people 65 and older have a five to tenfold increase in hospitalization rates, 65 to 370 times higher death rates than their 18-29-year-old counterparts. Twenty percent of Americans are over 65 and immunocompromised. It is important to avoid infection. It is crucial to use preventive measures, especially in multi-generational homes and congregate settings. This group will benefit from the rapid testing of contact to prevent infection and boosters.
3. Expect political polarization to continue, but paradoxically actual risk behaviour will normalize and converge.
The beliefs and personal values that underlie attitudes about vaccination, mandating or masking are what drive most of the forms and methods of exposure prevention. These attitudes will not change regardless of what happens to the pandemic and the outcome of any public policies. The political polarization that is evident over COVID is just as strong as in any other aspect of American contemporary life. We all come across each other every day in our workplaces, restaurants, airports, and stadiums. These interactions will in turn influence one another as the public lives continue to change. Public behavior and tolerance of risk are likely to merge over time.
4) Recognition that “living with the virus” means living with cases and infection
Most importantly the meaning of the goal “staying safe” from COVID has never been clearly defined either at the federal policy or personal level. It is, empirically, about avoiding infection at any cost. The safety markers for most people are boosters, masks and rapid tests. Virtual work and school can be avoided, as well as public transport. For others, it’s close to business-as-usual; for them exposure to infection is an acceptable risk. The key driver for a strong, dynamic society will be this broad definition of safety. It will accelerate towards convergence by 2022.
Because Omicron, and the successors to it, can lead to an unstoppable rise in infection cases in non-vulnerable populations of 80%. This applies regardless of whether they are vaccinated. This group, which includes 260 million people, can live near normal lives while still avoiding serious illnesses. It is difficult to move on in life and pandemic fatigue can slowly, but definitively alter national mentality. We will have to move slowly (as will the NFL/NC) away from rigid avoidance and living with infection risk to accept what will be a low risk of severe disease. Consider influenza and pneumonia, which are responsible for approximately 50,000 deaths annually and several hundred thousand hospitalizations each year. This is in the same ballpark as the likely toll from COVID’s endemic phase. Is it possible to shift risk behaviour in a similar way?
These forces will combine to increase society’s risk tolerance and the associated behaviors by 2022. Businesses will have access to schools, work places, hospitals, supermarkets, airports and stadiums as well as borders. The only way to get out of this pandemic is to not manage it, but to learn how to follow its rules.