World Health Organization experts have warned that even though the coronavirus pandemic has been very severe, it is “not necessarily the big one” and that the world will have to learn to live with COVID-19. Professor David Heymann, the chair of the WHO’s strategic and technical advisory group for infectious hazards said, “It appears the destiny of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is to become endemic, as have four other human coronaviruses, and that it will continue to mutate as it reproduces in human cells, especially in areas of more intense admission.”
Dr. Mike Ryan, the head of the WHO emergencies program added “this pandemic has been very severe; it has affected every corner of this planet. But this is not necessarily the big one. This is a wake-up call. We are learning, now, how to do things better: science, logistics, training and governance, how to communicate better but the planet is fragile.”
And from the WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan: “The first role of the vaccine would be to prevent symptomatic disease, severe disease, and deaths, but whether the vaccines would also reduce the number of infections or prevent people from passing on the virus remains to be seen.” She went on to say “I don’t believe we have the evidence on any of the vaccines to be confident that it’s going to prevent people from actually getting the infection and therefore being able to pass it on. So, I think we need to assume that people who have been vaccinated also need to take the same precautions.”
Yes, my friends, we are on a journey, we are making great strides and improving our practices daily. However, the day of the mask and social distancing isn’t going away anytime soon.
Please pay attention, listen to the experts, don’t let your guard down, and above all stay the course, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!