Coronavirus to stay long, but humans to stay longer and stronger

A few may be depressed after hearing that the coronavirus will stay long with us for years to come. But there are more reasons to be optimistic: many vaccines will come; we will develop herd immunity; and after all, corona is much easier than HIV like endemics.

Experts and the World Health Organisation have warned that coronavirus is here to stay for long, or for years.

That is just one side of the story. There is a positive side too: man will also survive this and stay for ever. Because, there more reasons to be hopeful of living comfortably with the virus.

After the WHO warning, a recent report by the Washington Post quoting the experts has said that the coronavirus will remain for years to come and be an endemic like HIV, measles and chickenpox. There are four endemic coronaviruses that are present, causing the common cold. And many experts believe that COVID-19 will become the fifth, they suggest.

But that is not the end of the world. There are many reasons to be highly positive. The experts say that coronavirus is not as dangerous as the other epidemics like HIV. Coronavirus is an easier target than HIV.

Harvard vaccine researcher Dan Barouch is very much optimistic. “For Covid-19, it’s clear most humans who get infected recover … that alone shows the human immune system can eliminate the virus,” he says.

Secondly, the SARS-Cov2 virus doesn’t have the fast mutation rate that makes flu viruses a moving target.

Thirdly, the history has shown us that we have managed to contain even epidemics like smallpox effectively with vaccines. At present there are at least 70 vaccine candidates in different stages and the scientists hope that a few of them should be sure shot success.

Pointing out the high recovery rate among the patients, many experts believe this COVID-19 could become relatively benign, causing milder infections as our immune systems develop a memory of responses to the virus. They suggest that even a less-effective vaccine might work well enough to provide herd immunity in a wider population. Other vaccines might be more appropriate for health care workers, who have to risk exposure on the job, and need protection as soon as possible.

According to Art Krieg, a physician and founder of Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, the human immune system can successfully battle the virus, so will one or more of the many experimental vaccines.


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