I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that virtually everyone is over COVID. What was supposed to be just a few weeks has slowly but surely become a new normal and though it was just about a year ago, life pre-pandemic seems like a wonderful dream.
But recently, we’ve seen the emergence of something that’s been few and far between during these long months: hope. In many places, case numbers are beginning to lower as Moderna, Pfizer, and now Johnson and Johnson pump out their vaccines. Although we still have a long way to go, it seems like for the first time, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Or maybe we don’t. I hate to be such a downer, but while it’s extremely possible for COVID to get better in just a matter of months, that’s just one of the possibilities for this virus.
First, something that many people don’t realize is that with more spread of the virus comes more variants. The more a virus spreads, the more it mutates and creates more types of itself, a phenomenon we have already seen recently. It is also possible for these variants to be more contagious or more resistant to a vaccine. Due to the large population of people that don’t believe in COVID or just don’t particularly care, the spread of the coronavirus has been astronomical. These mistakes and the natural virus process have led to thousands of COVID variants, though most are of little concern. Some, though, as stated, are stronger or more vaccine resistant, making them more difficult to control. The UK variant that has swept Europe is known to be more contagious, and it is already present in the United States and on Tulane’s campus. In addition, variants from Brazil and South Africa are a source of concern and are also present in the US. So knowing this, it’s essential for us to continue taking precautions and practicing proper social distancing. If these variants get out of hand, COVID could last for much longer, and I don’t think any of us welcome that possibility.
Overall, viruses are quite unpredictable and no one can say for sure what will happen in the future. Some suggest COVID could become a seasonal virus, like the flu, or weaken and become like the common cold. No matter what though, it’s so essential that we continue to be careful and not let a drop in numbers allow us to let our guards down. We are still responsible for keeping those around us healthy. Remember to keep up hope and stay safe!