Endemic phase soon?
You may have heard this in the news: the experts tell us there is hope. We risk going from a pandemic to what is called an endemic. We don’t know exactly when, but it could happen sooner than we think, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
What is an endemic?
The endemic phase of a virus happens when the virus has stabilized and infections are less severe. In other words, it stops producing variants so quickly. We can also say that a virus is endemic when the population is sufficiently immune. So it has less impact on our way of life.
It’s long, the pandemic
Historically, all pandemics have lasted several years. This is because they are more difficult to control than a disease that remains localized or within the same country. The Black Death lasted about 7 years in the 14th century. More recently, the Spanish flu lasted 2 years, from 1918 to 1920.
Omicron, good news?
The EMA believes that Omicron could help us reach the endemic phase. It is a variant that causes less severe symptoms most of the time. Since December, Omicron has accounted for the majority of infections in Canada. However, several experts say that
less severe does not rhyme with
better situation , since it is very contagious and that people still end up in the hospital.
What will happen now?
COVID is likely to be with us for years to come, according to several experts. We can expect to see other less severe variants. In the endemic phase, our life is likely to be more
normal . Experts believe that certain measures will remain in our habits, such as wearing a mask on certain occasions.
We know of endemics!
The Spanish flu was a serious pandemic. It caused more deaths than the First World War. But today, we still live with variants of this pandemic. Some seasonal flus are even similar, as it is possible to live with viruses and variants.