(GoHealthier.com) – We’ve been at this pandemic lifestyle for a while now, and most of us are over it. It seems like no matter how we look at the situation, that light at the end of the tunnel feels far off in the distance. Logically, we know it can’t last forever, but the uncertainty of it all has us anxious for answers.
No one can say with absolute certainty how much longer this current pandemic will remain headline news, but a look at past and current trends could help push us in the right direction. The experts have weighed in, and their predictions are hopeful.
Learning From Past Pandemics
We might feel like we’re treading through uncharted territory, but this is far from the first pandemic we’ve survived. Scientific American highlights several infections from recent history that have threatened to take us down:
- The H1N1 outbreak of 1918-1919 is likely the most famous of the influenza pandemics. It killed between 50 and 100 million people before natural immunity took hold, and the strain became a seasonal illness; it persisted for decades until the H2N2 pandemic of 1957, which temporarily wiped H1N1 off the map.
- The SARS epidemic of 2003 could have gone global, but quick containment measures knocked the virus out of commission before it had the chance. This close relative to COVID-19 infected 8,098 people, killing 774, before vanishing in 2004 as suddenly as it emerged.
- The H1N1 pandemic of 2009 saw the resurgence of H1N1, but the strain turned out to be less virulent than its 1918 predecessor; quick vaccination efforts further reduced the threat.
No one can say how exactly COVID-19 will end, but the above scenarios offer a few different directions it might take. Regardless of the avenue, we can make at least one confident prediction: One way or another, this pandemic will go down sooner rather than later.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, recently released his predicted timeline. Harvard News reports that Fauci and other experts have studied past and previous efforts, and they believe that if we take strong enough efforts, we could start seeing life return to normal by as early as the end of 2021.
Fauci stresses the importance of current vaccination efforts, stating that 75% to 80% of the population will need to comply if we want to achieve herd immunity. With news of the allergic reactions that have occurred, concerns over the vaccine’s safety are warranted — but this rare threat shouldn’t stop most healthy people from participating. However, vaccination isn’t the right route for everyone, so people who have concerns should discuss their options with their doctors.
The light at the end of the tunnel is increasing, even if incrementally. The combination of social distancing, vaccination rollouts, and natural immunity is making a difference, and the payoff will be worth our current efforts. We don’t have much longer now, so keep looking forward. This, too, shall pass.
~Here’s to a Healthier Life!
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