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COVID is here to stay: Countries must decide how to adapt — Nature Editorial


Recommended Reading: Nature Editorial: COVID is here to stay: Countries must decide how to adapt

“The Omicron variant has laid bare the need to live with a disease that throws up an ever-changing set of challenges… [W]hat is clear is that the hope that vaccines and prior infection could generate herd immunity to COVID-19 — an unlikely possibility from the start — has all but disappeared. It is widely thought that SARS-CoV-2 will become endemic rather than extinct, with vaccines providing protection from severe disease and death, but not eradicating the virus.” — Nature Editorial Board

The COVID pandemic will eventually end, but COVID will likely remain an endemic disease. SARs-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID, will continue to evolve and create new variants, some of which will become variants of interest (VOIs) requiring special monitoring and variants of concern (VOCs) requiring a more vigorous public health response. It is also true that new vaccines and treatments will be developed.

All facets of life involve calculated risk. All facets.

I’ve been discussing the need to openly incorporate discussions of calculated risk for more than a year, but now — two years since the first COVID outbreaks in China– it is time to call on government leaders and public health officials to more openly quantify calculated risks and include frank discussions about calculated risk in all health care discussions.

Biomedical advances will continue, but for now we need to openly determine how the American public can best live with COVID, not live in unreasonable fear of it.

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