Nearing the End of the Pandemic?

Image by nito100 via Unsplash

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images/iStockphoto

Image by nito100 via Unsplash

By Shivam Patel, Staff Writer

The Covid-19 pandemic has currently been around for more than two years. The spread of the virus began at the end of 2019, and became global by March of 2020, when it was established as a pandemic. Since then, multiple variants have evolved from the original virus: the first variant was the alpha variant which originated in the UK in September 2020, the second variant was the beta variant which originated in South Africa in May 2020 (both the alpha and beta variants were both recognized on the same day but people had been exposed on different days), the third was the gamma variant which originated in Brazil Jan 2021, the fourth variant was the delta variant which originated in India April 2021, the latest variant is the omicron variant which originated in South Africa in Nov 2021. The most dangerous of the variants are the last two: Delta and omicron.

As the omicron variant sweeps through the US and other nations, experts predict that the Covid-19 pandemic will eventually turn into an epidemic. An epidemic is when a disease is present in a population, but isn’t around all the time. Instead, it infects on irregular intervals, alike many diseases such as the flu, Ebola, yellow fever, Rift Valley Fever etc. These diseases are not constantly infecting the entire world but instead they randomly emerge in different parts of the world at different times.

Although experts expect covid-19 to turn into an epidemic disease throughout 2022, their predictions could be imprecise if a new variant surfaces. This potential new variant could have a whole other round of infections for all causing the pandemic to get worse before it gets better. 

Although more infections sound bad, it really isn’t as dreadful as it sounds. Whether these infections come from omicron or a whole other variant, they will have positive effects in the future. This idea is due to the fact that more people will have some degree of immunity from covid, so it would be like getting vaccinated, except they’re getting the full virus. This is especially good news because as anti-vaxxers become infected and have some level of immunity, then the world can achieve herd immunity. This would result in 80-95% of the population’s immunity causing a hindrance to any future outbreaks of the disease; This is when the epidemic stage will begin.