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How Will We Live if Covid Is Here to Stay?

The New York Times Opinion – “Even as cases decline again and vaccination numbers rise, a once-unthinkable idea is breaking through any assumptions that we would vanquish Covid-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci laid it on the line at a White House press briefing this month: “It is going to be very difficult — at least in the foreseeable future and maybe ever — to truly eliminate this highly transmissible virus.” That SARS-CoV-2 could be with us forever is a dark thought. But pulling that mental lever may be just what we need to organize effectively for the very long haul, dramatically improve our pandemic response and embed safeguards into our everyday lives. “It’s an unpleasant message,” said Dr. Matthew Hepburn, who, since we spoke, has become a special adviser at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “We all want it to be over. But contingency planning for long-term response is absolutely essential.” Indeed, optimism could serve as “one of the biggest obstacles” to making those plans, said Dr. Jeremy Farrar, the director of Wellcome, a global health foundation headquartered in London. If we think Covid-19 is going away, then we will drop our guard and not make essential investments now. Rather than debate how to end the pandemic, we need to debate how to live with it. “We have to start thinking, planning and coming to grips in every way that this is now a human endemic infection and it’s never going to go away,” said Dr. Farrar…”

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