That said, relegating the pandemic to 2020 will require some changes. The virus is likely to become endemic, meaning it will continue to circulate but at a much lower level than the epidemic. If we are prudent, next fall could look like an especially virulent flu season in which the vaccines are a poor match. Most of the activities Americans enjoy will resume, though some of them will require precautions.

That starts with changes in the way people go to work. It should be frowned upon to come to work sick and try to “brave out” a cold. Testing for flu and Covid will be widespread with home tests. Many people may still prefer to wear masks in public venues, but they won’t be required. We will be more mindful of ventilation indoors and crowds in confined spaces.