It’s a term that we’re all used to hearing far too often. A catch-all catchphrase that no one would have ever attributed to this just a few months ago. The “new normal” may indeed be exactly as the name suggests – a permanent shift in the way that we think, act, and do. The coronavirus pandemic has enforced personal accountability like never seen before across widespread fronts, with each and every one of us needing to adopt a totally new mindset for living and interacting with others. Will COVID-19 be with us forever? Should fashion designers focus on masks as a lasting addition to every wardrobe? Is drone delivery the way forward to ensure social distance? Will a vaccine help, and what does “recovery” mean for the US and global economies? These are just a few of the aspects of change that we’ll be considering today.
Will This End?
Some of us are asking when this will end while others are preparing to live with the virus forever. However, the realistic vision for tomorrow is still a matter of speculation. The World Health Organization has projected multiple scenarios for how this could play out, but no matter how you look at it, it seems like COVID-19 is going to be with us for a very long time. “The coronavirus is here to stay, and countries must adapt,” was the official statement in a recent press release from the WHO’s Health Emergencies Executive Director. After all, the Spanish flu was in circulation for just over forty years. As the ages passed, it evolved into a strain that wasn’t as lethal. Whether the same will be true with the coronavirus becoming endemic, only time will tell.
Steady Progress Toward a Vaccine
Steady progress towards a vaccine is being made. After all, the WHO reports over 160 projects dedicated to developing a vaccine by as early as spring in the USA. Under conventional circumstances, developing a vaccine carries a timeline of years. One needs to keep in mind numerous phases are involved, each set in place to make sure that the vaccine is safe for use without causing dangerous side effects, immune-responses,and genetic abnormalities. Vaccine trials begin with under a hundred healthy volunteers progressing through increasing trials involving more and more people. By the third phase, thousands are tested, and their unusual negative side effects are monitored.
Global Vaccine Projections
Perfecting a vaccine normally takes a lot of time, but here the world is just shortly after the first detection of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019 with multiple promising projects on the way. This also means that thousands of healthy lives are being risked to save mankind. If and when we are there, deploying the vaccine won’t be a problem because there are wide-scale deployment programs readily in place. Global estimations remain optimistic that we’ll have a working, safe vaccine by 2021. Yet, whether the world will be able to make billions and billions of vaccines for global immunization is an entirely different question.
The Effect of Potential Mutations
The only thing that could shake the current state of vaccine research, and extend the estimations for recovery is if the virus mutates too rapidly beyond the expectations and observations of science. If hopes are correct and the coronavirus goes the route of the Spanish Flu, then we’re relying on it mutating into something less dangerous. It could mutate into something entirely different, perhaps too different to fit current models. It could even become one of those viruses that we don’t have a treatment or vaccine for. For the time being, we can breathe a sigh of relief because COVID-19 is so far stable, and human trials appear promising.
Certain Countries Awaiting the Coronavirus
It seems that COVID-19 is going to have the world in damage-control mode for quite some time. While certain regions have overcome the pandemic, just look at New Zealand, for example, others like Tanzania haven’t even seen signs of the virus yet. While Tanzanian citizens largely question whether the coronavirus is real or not with the rest of the country (including the President) believing that God has bestowed divine intervention saving them all, the rest of the world is battling the virus. All this can mean is that there are places which haven’t started to fight the pandemic yet – whether this is because of a lack of international travel and underdeveloped tourism and infrastructure, a miracle, or a gravely late response to a growing threat, only time will tell.
Opposing Opinions Cause Confusion
On the one hand, you have prominent medical/biotech leaders like Dr. Scott Gottlieb of Pfizer, Tempus, and Illumina declaring openly that he feels the crisis will be over by January 2021. The record speed that vaccines are being developed at sure seems to lean toward his assumption. However, adversely, a study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that should a vaccine be successfully developed, it would have to have higher than 70% effectiveness. The less effective the vaccine, the more necessary social distancing, and other measures will still be. A vaccine will reduce the number of infections. It won’t eradicate the coronavirus. Don’t forget that mandatory vaccination is not enforced everywhere, which has a major effect on reducing the number of new daily infections to zero. If a large number of people simply refuse, it’ll be here forever.
A Shaky Future
No matter how you look at it or which opinion you reserve, the future of the world is extremely uncertain. We may be well into the fight, but the battle is far from over. If there is one thing that all experts can agree on, it that the United States economy has taken a hit that’ll be felt for a very long time regardless of whether a vaccine is developed and deployed successfully. Each of us holds a different sentiment to functioning in public,and this means that there’s no definite time in the future that we’ll all feel safe in crowded places again. Estimates from IMF economists project market sentiment for restaurants and dining to return to normal by mid-2021, but this is really just a guess. Financial markets are volatile and will remain so. This translates to both massive opportunities for new economic growth (just look at how billionaires got $637-billion richer) and immense pressure on struggling industries.
Moving Forward in Face of Fear
The US Federal Reserve is growing worried, as is most of the world’s populace, but we cannot afford to let fear dictate our future. Assertive action, innovation, adaptability, and constant expansion paves the way to a brighter tomorrow. Opportunity is here to support you with informational resources and the best search and matching services the world has to offer. We encourage you to read our blogs while exploring the full feature set of our AI-powered platform. There’s no better way to enrich and grow your business network.