Updated: Apr 26
Scientists predict that COVID-19 will inevitably transition from its pandemic proportion to an endemic disease, meaning – "living with the virus" without restrictions and safeguards.
When the world was gradually applying a break in the Delta surge, the Omicron variant was already creating a 'tidal wave' across the globe by the second week of January. While this surge was unexpected, the WHO and other public health agencies were hopeful that the rapid spread could signal the end of the pandemic because of the short-term rise in immunity that would follow.
However, the different vaccine strategies, types, take-up rates, and fluctuating rates of infection and recovery led to a diverse immunological landscape – making the modeling process very complicated. Unfortunately, earlier data suggests that the Omicron will not be the last variant, and the future variants will have their own characteristics.
Many think the concept of "living with the virus" is slippery as the matter is subject to an individual's interpretation. Although Omicron seems not to be the last variant, the pattern suggests that the virus is getting milder and milder with each iteration, and future variants will potentially be milder.