And that is the real test, isn’t it? The final additive. Three weeks to bend the curve. Social distancing and masking. Just wait until the vaccine. Whoops! Never mind. Bloomberg writer Andreas Kluth put it simply at the top of his column: We must start planning for a permanent pandemic.
In Nature, Christie Aschwanden writes:
“Scientists had thought that once people started being immunized en masse, herd immunity would permit society to return to normal. Most estimates had placed the threshold at 60–70% of the population gaining immunity, either through vaccinations or past exposure to the virus. But as the pandemic enters its second year, the thinking has begun to shift.”
We’re in it forever. Kluth says that, while vaccines might be able to catch up with new COVID mutations, they won’t catch them all. Toward his conclusion, he writes: “The good news is that we keep getting better at responding. In each lockdown, for example, we damage the economy less than in the previous one.”