The Covid Pandemic Yesterday Today and Tomorrow

chinacovidfinf Photo Credit | AP

On my long flight to the US a couple of weeks ago I had plenty of time to reminisce about the covid pandemic and ponder on how things were last year this time, how it is now and how would it be a year from now.

Last year this time we were in the middle of one of the most fearsome catastrophic Delta wave of Covid. There was death, destruction, devastation and sadness everywhere and we had literally become prisoners of this deadly virus.

There was turmoil all over. Hospitals, crematoriums and cemeteries were overflowing with patients and the dead. Travelling abroad was a distant dream and even the plans and venue of a family wedding had to be changed multiple times to accommodate the changing rules of Covid and even immediate family members could not attend the event when it finally happened.

However there were many silver linings too; vaccination had started in right earnest and today we are proud that we have one of the best track records for vaccination in the world. A robust healthcare infrastructure was built and allocation for healthcare in the budget was substantially upgraded in last year’s budget. All these measures helped us considerably in facing the third wave which fortunately was the much milder form of Covid, the omicron mutant. To some extent the extremely infectious nature of omicron caused widespread infections with very little morbidity and mortality which further helped us in attaining herd immunity in our population. Omicron fortunately was also short lived and soon the number of infections across the country dropped drastically and many of the stringent Covid measures were lifted. Finally most of us especially in the healthcare industry heaved a sigh of relief and the citizens could finally breathe easy. This led to a drastic improvement in the economic conditions especially in the hospitality and travel industry. Travelling across the country and abroad became close to normal and here I was on my much delayed travel to the US without any of the stress that was part of any travel during the peak Covid days and of course life was almost back to normal in the US and in fact a little too normal that most people were not wearing masks in spite of the CDC recommendation to wear masks.

Now back from the US after a very pleasant stay, here I am gazing at the crystal ball to predict what the future will be this time next year.

Though many pundits have gone awfully wrong in their predictions about Covid and in spite of the fact that I went awfully wrong in my prediction on the eve of the new year of 2021 predicting that nothing could be worse than 2020, I will still stick my neck out and hazard a prediction on what the world will be a year from now.

At the outset before my predictions for tomorrow I would like to make it clear that Covid is here to stay and how Covid would behave in the next few months or years would to a large extent depend our behaviour of being Covid appropriate by masking, distancing and openly accepting vaccination as a tool if not to prevent the disease at least to mitigate the seriousness of the disease. With these caveats I would say even if there is a fourth wave of Covid over the next few weeks or months we would still be reasonably safe because almost the entire population of the country is either immunised or has been infected and the government is still actively monitoring and conducting rigorous surveillance for Covid and also actively pursuing vaccination for the children and the precautionary dose (booster dose) for all above 18.

All in all even though Covid is here to stay we have enough tools in our armamentarium to make sure that it doesn’t raise its ugly head to turn our world topsy-turvy like what happened in 2020 and 2021.

My prediction for the future is that a milder form of endemic Covid is here to stay and so will masking, distancing and vaccination. The way forward is for us to learn to live with Covid and not let Covid get the better of us. We do hope that this prediction comes true for everyone’s sake.