How will pandemic end? Omicron clouds forecasts for endgame, experts say

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People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing site in New York’s Times Square in this photo taken Dec. 13, 2021. (Seth Wenig/The Associated Press)


(The Associated Press/ CBC News) — Pandemics do eventually end, even if Omicron is complicating the question of when this one will. But it won’t be like flipping a light switch: the world will have to learn to coexist with a virus that’s not going away, experts say.

The ultra-contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus is pushing cases to all-time highs and causing chaos as an exhausted world struggles, again, to stem the spread. But this time, we’re not starting from scratch.

Vaccines offer strong protection from serious illness, even if they don’t always prevent a mild infection. Omicron doesn’t appear to be as deadly as some earlier variants. And those who survive it will have some refreshed protection against other forms of the virus that still are circulating — and maybe the next variant to emerge, too. (…)

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