The thought of having to live with COVID forever could be very daunting after the way it impacted the world over the last 15 months and counting. But, as expressed by medical experts, scientists and even leading political figures such as our very own Prime Minister, COVID-19 and its many variants will remain in circulation for—very possibly—the rest of time.
A sad but realistic truth
As a result, this will be conducive to more lives being taken away and besides controlling the amount of people who get infected, not much else can be done about it. Much like HIV or influenza, society has had to learn how to live with these plaguing viruses without having it interfere so much with our freedom.
For this reason, many are now saying that waiting before easing social distancing restrictions will not make much of a difference. Professor Karol Sikora, an expert in medicine at the University of Buckingham, explained that:
All deaths are very emotional and upsetting... but it's important we embrace Covid like we have other viruses because it will become a normal feature in society.
We should consider it a success if we bring it [COVID deaths] down to levels comparable with flu deaths every year. We will never achieve zero COVID.
Influenza accounts for up to 50,000 deaths each year
According to numbers recorded from previous years, a tolerable amount of deaths related to influenza usually fluctuate somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 per year in the UK alone. Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister echoes similar sentiments by saying that:
We have to accept that this virus will circulate, and it will be the case, unfortunately, that in winters to come we will find that people contract it or subsequent variants and they will fall ill.
Unfortunately there are respiratory diseases, including flu itself, which do every year result in an upsurge of people being taken into hospital, and in some cases suffering tragic consequences. We’re going to have to learn to live with COVID.
With vaccines being rolled out and face coverings likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future, containing the virus will be the best defence against soaring numbers of deaths.