If the goal isn’t to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 infections, what is the pandemic endgame?
Publish 6 September 2021
The goal in basketball is to get the ball through your hoop more times than the opponent. In football, your team must carry the ball past your to the end zone for the most touchdowns. Many people watch and enjoy such games. In the battle again against COVID-19, the endgame has not been so clear.
First, it was believed that sheltering in place would allow the pandemic storm to pass over. Then, frequent hand washing and mask wearing was the solution. Around the start of the year 2021, vaccines became available. Surely, this is the endgame many people thought. A spotty variation of masks with or without vaccinations persists. COVID-19 variants are breaking through prior vaccinations. This is leading to the call for booster shots.
Simply put, there will be no return to normal. SARS-CoV-2 will linger for a long time. The endgame is to minimize serious complications from infection. Take similar precautions as you do to prevent catching influenza. This includes vaccinations and staying away from those with infections.
The difference with COVID-19 is that some human carriers are asymptomatic. This means you cannot tell by looking at them that they are ill. So wearing masks, whether you have a vaccine or not, provides an additional barrier of protection.