At what point will we know that COVID is gone?

Oct 25, 2021, 3:58 PM | Updated: Oct 26, 2021, 10:56 am
COVID, mask mandate...
A sign at Lumen Field in Seattle reminds everyone to wear masks. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

How will we know when COVID-19 is actually gone? Or will it ever be gone?

Booster doses of COVID vaccines available in Washington for eligible individuals

On KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show, host Gee Scott and fill-in host Aaron Mason discussed an article in Vox on how we’ll know when COVID-19 has gone from pandemic to endemic.

“As you guys have probably talked about, you’ve known, you’ve heard Dr. Rasmussen on our show come on to talk about how COVID-19 is probably not going away,” Gee said. “We’re talking about going away for good throughout the entire world. So it’s realistic to believe that it’s going to be tough to eradicate this virus entirely. However, we will move from a pandemic phase and into an endemic phase.”

“That means that the virus will keep circulating out there in parts of the global population for years,” he continued. “However, its prevalence and impact will come down to relatively manageable levels. So it’s easy for us to manage. It will be something more like a flu but not a world stopping disease.”

Gee offered a reminder that we’re still in the pandemic stage at this point, but it is thought that we will get to the endemic point.

“This is good news,” Aaron said. “I’m not surprised by it. Unfortunately, it’s not the best news, which would be like, hey, this thing is gone and we don’t have to worry about it anymore. But there will be a time, eventually, when enough people have immunity to it — whether it’s natural or through vaccination — where it won’t cause the damage it’s causing.”

“It won’t bring everything screeching to a halt,” he added. “Businesses and cities won’t have to close down. We can sort of get back to normal kind of life. There’s a few things that need to happen though, and a lot of that has to do with stabilization.”

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Aaron noted that if there are pockets where COVID can go between people, grow, and mutate, then we’re going to keep having to return to restrictions and try to stop the spread again.

“We had our chance in the very beginning and we all dropped the ball, and so now we’re stuck with this,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll be more manageable instead of it really sort of dictating the rules.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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At what point will we know that COVID is gone?