This too shall pass is what all of us are thinking in our heads right now but none of us knows how exactly will that happen. While all of us are desperately waiting for the 21-day lockdown to come to an end, we don’t know what this pandemic has in store for us.
It is believed that even a perfect response to the virus won’t end it because as the virus exists somewhere or the other it will recur. Which is already happening in China, Singapore, and other Asian countries that briefly seemed to have the virus under control. Considering the past epidemics and the situation right now, following are the possibilities of how this pandemic can be ended.
Containment of the virus
Ideally, this is what helps in most of these viruses. To contain the virus in any possible way. Which all of us tried doing through quarantines and travel restrictions but didn’t happen because Covid-19 spreads quite easily. It also became very difficult to identify most of these cases because of its incubation period.
The quarantine days as prescribed earlier was for a period of 14 days but the later studies showed that it may take longer for these symptoms to show but in the meanwhile, the person would have already infected someone else who might start showing the symptoms almost immediately.
Since we have crossed the containment stage, there are two other possibilities, either enough people will develop immunity through infection or vaccination which will stop transmission and eventually eliminate it, or the virus will continue to circulate and establish itself as a common respiratory virus.
Vaccine to eradicate
Vaccine is something that everyone is betting on right now. It is believed that it might take close to 18 to 24 months to develop a vaccine that’ll eradicate the virus. While the scientists and doctors are at it, all we can do is test as many people as possible and use alternate ways to keep the person alive.
But the fact remains that Covid-19 will not disappear anytime soon considering that experts are continuing to develop a vaccine. Had the virus had a chance to disappear through any other means then building a vaccine for the future would not make much sense.
When the virus won’t have enough hosts
Usually, the pandemics stop when they don’t have susceptible bodies to infect. That’s exactly what has happened with past flu. For example, the 1918 Spanish Flu infected close to 500 million people worldwide but the flu was ultimately halted because when the virus tried to hop on to people with stronger immunity, it couldn’t do any damage and ultimately stopped spreading.
Many researchers believe that if the virus comes into contact with another person but that person isn't susceptible to the disease, then that chain of transmission is snuffed out. Let’s say one person infects two, those two together infect four, but eventually, the virus runs out of susceptible people to infect.
Many experts also believe that transmission of some of these viruses are dependent on environmental conditions, hence they believe that once the temperature warms down there’s a possibility that the infections will start going down. But that’s something yet to be proved.
Although, there are multiple possibilities attached to end this pandemic and multiple people are trying to make it happen, all we can do is take preventive measures and start preparing for a more serious time.