Initially, many of us believed that the COVID-19 pandemic would last just a few months. As the months passed, it became increasingly unclear how long the pandemic would last and how the virus might permanently alter our lives.
It looks like we may need to learn to live with COVID-19 for the time being, but the good news is that the infrastructure and resources have developed to help us handle our new normal.
A New Normal?
COVID-19 is still new, and we do not know precisely what will happen. There is a chance that we will be able to effectively vaccinate enough of the world’s population that the virus will largely dissipate, as with diphtheria and polio. Viruses and diseases such as diphtheria and polio still crop up here and there, but they have, for the most part, been eradicated around the world.
On the other hand, COVID-19 may be a new flu for which people receive yearly vaccinations. If that is what happens, only people in certain parts of the world are likely to have access to the annual booster shots, and the virus could continue to put a strain on healthcare systems in other countries.
New Safety Precautions
One of the reassuring aspects of coping with COVID-19 is the fact that there are now many different resources available to handle living with the virus. The efficient COVID-19 test is one of the most effective and crucial new safety procedures, and it is extremely helpful in reducing transmission via track and trace.
Specific travel destinations, jobs, events, and roles all require COVID-19 testing. In the past, finding a reliable, efficient, and cost-effective test provider that you could trust was very difficult. Now, however, there are many different providers who can be relied upon for efficient and effective COVID-19 testing.
Other safety precautions and technology have also advanced dramatically over the course of the last year and a half. Masks, air filtration devices, and sanitation technology have all become cheaper and more effective.
As COVID-19 becomes a part of our long-term future, we will all need to rely on this technology going forward and become comfortable with similar technological advances and innovations in the future. That is especially true regarding vaccines and booster shots, as it is likely that we will regularly need them.
Looking Ahead To The Next Few Years
Right now, the intellectual property restrictions of many of the most effective vaccines remain protected. As a result, the manufacturing costs for the vaccines are prohibitively high for many other, less developed countries. If intellectual property, or IP, restrictions were eased, countries like India and China could easily mass-produce the vaccines because of their superior pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities.
As it is, IP restrictions remain in place, and high-quality vaccines are expensive to produce, and many countries still lack access. Until there is mass vaccination, the virus will likely continue to mutate, and we will all need yearly booster shots to cope with the changes.