When is the pandemic going to end?

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Ronaldo Pichardo, a 22-year-old medical student at the university “Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The past two years have been characterized by the constant threat that the pandemic has brought upon the whole world. It’s easy to say that the question “when are we going to get rid of COVID” has crossed everyone’s mind, but getting an answer to this question may be harder than you might think. This virus has changed and redirected almost every aspect of our daily lives. The appearance of vaccination efforts around the world have helped regulate the worldwide crisis to some extent. Retrospectively the world thought the pandemic would end quickly, most saying it would end within months. Almost 2 years later and we still live behind covid’s shadow.

In the early stages of the pandemic the term “Herd Immunity” was heavily mentioned when referring to COVID 19 and how to beat it. The reality of the situation is that even if this concept is achieved or even possible, the virus is much more complicated than originally thought. Vaccines have helped with this process, nevertheless the possibility of getting infected with the vaccine still exists. This means cases of vaccinated people will continue to rise even as vaccination rates increase. On this note the problem remains in access to vaccines and half the worldwide population not being vaccinated.

Due to the ever-changing nature of this disease and its tendency to mutate, these questions become harder to answer. Countries around the world have been hit with numerous variants of COVID leaving a sense of chaos just when people thought things were back to normal due to vaccines. Studies show vaccines’ efficiency rates have diminished in relation to different variants. A clear example can be appreciated in the vaccine of pharmaceutical company Moderna displaying an effectiveness rate of 72% in preventing the Delta variant, diminishing its original efficacy as was demonstrated in studies. One of the biggest obstacles in returning to normality is the mutating nature of the virus and the creation of new variants.

As was shown the answer to when covid will end is uncertain to say the least. To be pragmatic the most acceptable answer is going to depend on the country and region in which you reside. Socio-economic aspects and vaccination rates play one of the most crucial roles in determining the end of the pandemic. The emergence of the different variants has threatened and prolonged the time frame in which normality can be achieved. If the correct measures and procedures are carried out, this day will be accomplished.

Bibliography

DeSimone, D. C. (2021, 11 09). Variantes de la COVID-19: ¿son causa de preocupación? Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/covid-variant/faq-20505779

Mayo Clinic. (2021, 10 7). Do COVID-19 vaccines protect against the variants? Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-variant-vaccine

Sarun Charumilind, M. C. (2021, 08 23). When will the COVID-19 pandemic end? Retrieved from McKinsey & Company: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/when-will-the-covid-19-pandemic-end

About the author

Ronaldo Pichardo is a 22-year-old medical student at the university “Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), located in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Born and raised in Santo Domingo, Ronaldo was driven by his Granddad`s success as a well-respected doctor and researcher to follow in his footsteps. As a medical student, among his interests are the study of social issues that affect his surroundings, for which he is co-founder and host of the podcast “Mi Huella Podcast” where he and his co-host related how young people impacted various professional areas based on their point of view.

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