The coronavirus pandemic started late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but it became a global problem as early as January this year, persisting and growing into a pandemic when March hit -- and now, experts believe the COVID-19 threats will continue until 2021.
COVID-19 Will Cause Two Million Deaths by 2022?
In a report by Bloomberg, most experts believe that we will have to live with the coronavirus for much longer as the vaccine for the virus won't likely be distributed until next year.
That is despite the promising results we've been getting from potential COVID-19 vaccines that are currently in various stages of trials, with some even on human clinical trials and biotech companies ready to produce doses as soon as possible, even without the final results.
Now that the pandemic might be far from over, public health professionals encourage people to start managing our expectations, becoming more aware, and changing our behaviors.
According to them, success isn't returning life to normal as if it were 2019.
Rather, they believe it's about buying time and limiting the destruction that is brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic, especially the deaths that will occur that could reach a million, according to one estimate, until we have the vaccine and other tools that could treat and immunize SARS-CoV-2.
"I wouldn't be surprised by 2022 if we go into a couple million or more, knowing that there are so many people out there who are vulnerable," predicted Eric Topol, the director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute.
How the Early Days of the Pandemic were Slowed Down
During the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the whole world came to a stop.
Businesses were forced to close down, leaving only the essentials like grocery stores and pharmacies to remain open, and companies have to send their employees home and to work from there.
While it did help slow down the spread of COVID-19, the move slowly killed the economy, forcing cities, states, and entire nations to go back to a new sense of normalcy to regain some footing.
However, easing the restrictions is something health experts have been trying to warn the leaders against as they think it's too early for that, causing a new surge of cases.
New Coronavirus Wave is Coming
Bloomberg said that scientists have already seen new signs of a new coronavirus wave in places that have otherwise flattened the curve or are close to doing so.
"I understand there is a perception of the need to balance on these economic considerations," said epidemiologist Ada Adimora, who is also a professor of medicine in infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
"But to the extent that we open up society and have people going to restaurants - you can't wear a mask while you eat - you are not really working to control the threat of the virus," the professor further said.
Experts see the fall as the scariest point in the near future, wherein universities and institutes will reopen, making the coronavirus disease a perfect resurgence.
Moreover, the high number of asymptomatic cases is also frightening as they mix in with the crowd, not knowing they have COVID-19 until they infect more vulnerable people who develop severe cases.
As of now, drug companies are doing everything they can to find a treatment and a vaccine for the virus, but despite speeding up processes that would typically take years to finish, they believe the vaccine would be available by 2021.