It is July 28th, 2020. With lockdowns easing all over the world, some say a second wave of coronavirus will come into force by the end of the year. Others that the pandemic will fade. Is this true? How long before we get rid of the coronavirus?
The coronavirus pandemic will end by January 2021 (in 6 months)
Masks, hand-washing, and social distancing are allowing countries to get control and open back up.
A vaccine will be widely available
Scientists and researchers estimate that, if everything goes perfectly, a Covid-19 vaccine will be available by the end of 2020. Administering the vaccine to a large portion of the population by January isn't impossible.
The world will be close to the herd immunity threshold
New models suggests that the benefits of herd immunity could come sooner than previously thought—and at a lesser cost. The predictions are only for select portions of the globe, but the model could easily be applied to countries around the world.
Preventative measures, combined with societal knowledge of the virus, a vaccine, and antibody treatments, will drastically reduce the number of people infected with Covid-19. If society takes the necessary precautions to prevent further outbreaks, the pandemic will be over by January.
Antibody treatments being used to mitigate the symptoms of Covid-19 could help stop the pandemic from getting worse—and possibly help it get better. Antibody treatments could help save the immunocompromised and the elderly from dying, causing death rates to plummet.
The coronavirus pandemic won't end until at least July 2022 (2 years)
A second wave in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres is likely, and we are unsure if those that have had the virus cannot get reinfected.
A safe vaccine will not be available until mid-late 2021
Even though epidemiologists are working as fast as possible to produce a vaccine, a safe and effective vaccine will not begin to be distributed until middle to late 2021. It won't be immediately available and accessible to everyone.
With the rising number of cases of COVID-19 around the world, health officials continue to work to find the best way to protect the public from the disease. Health officials continue to mention herd immunity as a possible way to contain the spread of COVID-19. But it will take time.
A second wave of cases is likely to surge in 2021 that may be worse than the initial 2020 outbreak. With the high likelihood of a dual virus and flu pandemic, alongside many premature reopenings, a second wave of cases may lead the pandemic well into 2022.
AIDs, the flu, herpes, chickenpox... there are a number of viruses we haven't eradicated yet. These viruses continue to impact society in different ways.
This is not the first time human coronaviruses have emerged
Scientists first identified a human coronavirus in 1965. Since then, there have been several small outbreaks. Since coronavirus outbreaks have happened a few times throughout history, they will more likely continue to happen in the future.
Scientific models predict that the virus may always be present and immunity against the virus may not last. When immunity fades, smaller COVID outbreaks will emerge. Scientists also predict virus mutation and cross-infection with other viruses, making COVID stronger and more resistant.
There are many potential problems and limitations to vaccines including their efficacy, accessibility, and durability. The virus is also quickly mutating which makes it difficult to make a successful vaccine.