The COVID-19 pandemic has been ongoing for months now.
In Australia, we’re looking to the future. We’re easing restrictions that have flattened the curve and we’re being cautious of a second wave, but we are ahead of the global fight.
In other countries – the United States, for example, which has 1.37 million cases and 80,000 deaths, and Russia, one the world’s new coronavirus hotspots – community transmission is still rampant and case numbers are rising rapidly.
Australian PM Scott Morrison outlines step one in our three-step plan out of COVID-19 restrictions. Post continues below video.
What we all have in common is that no matter where we are, the coronavirus is going to be a defining part of our lives for months, if not years, to come.
But how does it end? When will we have a day when we don’t think about the pandemic/social distancing/the economic fall out? What will life even look like on the other side?
Drawing information from past pandemics like the 1918 Spanish Flu and the many iterations of the plague, we can consider how the COVID-19 pandemic may end.
There are two possible different ‘endings’. The medical ending, and the social ending.
Mamamia’s daily podcast The Quicky on how past outbreaks came to an end. Post continues below audio.
The medical end.
COVID-19 is an entirely new virus, meaning there is no existing immunity in our communities, and knowledge about how it behaves is limited.
No medication or vaccine is approved to treat the virus, and international researchers are working with accelerated research processes to meet global demand and to try to find a vaccine and medications.
On March 16, the first clinical trial of a vaccine started with four volunteers in Seattle, United States. The vaccine contains a harmless genetic code copied from the virus that causes the disease, and it is practically unheard of for a vaccine to be trialled on humans so quickly.
It is currently unknown if past infection provides effective and long-term immunity in people who have recovered from the virus. In other words, it is currently unclear how likely it is that a person could contract the virus twice. Or more.