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Ask Amy: Offering hope regarding the endless pandemic

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have noticed in many responses about COVID-19, you and many others have said things like, "When this is over, we can get together” or, “When we reach the end of the virus, life will return to normal.”

In my mind we are now two years into what was supposed to last for 14 days. When is everyone going to realize that this virus is never going away?!

For me, with the exception of work, I'm completely isolated from the world —except for the internet.

I would love to get out like I did prior to the pandemic, but I don't see this ever ending.

Why keep people's hopes up and not prepare them for what could be forever?

– Over it and Hopeless

 

Dear Hopeless: As of this writing, we are experiencing an alarming surge in hospitalizations, as the pandemic stretches into its third year.

Yes, the end seems to be receding into the distance with every passing complication, but the reason to keep people’s hopes up is because … the pandemic WILL end, just as the pandemics that came before it also eventually transitioned from pandemic to “endemic.”

This virus is not going away, but the pandemic will shift into endemic status, and the virus causing COVID-19 will become one of many viruses that sweep through the Earth’s human and animal population, mutate, and sweep through again. Vaccinations, and medications and remedies treating symptoms will help people to cope with having the virus.

According to the World Health Organization, the only viral disease we humans have ever totally eradicated is smallpox, which had been kicking around the planet for a thousands of years. Now, the only remaining smallpox pathogens exist in laboratories.

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