In 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic will end. Driven by the inexorable, inevitable spread of the Omicron variant and the use of vaccines, the global population will generate immunity to this virus.
The basic proposition of a pandemic, an infectious disease spreading globally among an infection-naive population, will be void. We will live our lives again as part of the incredibly social and incurably optimistic human species that thrives on this planet and has emerged from countless pandemics over history stronger and more capable of managing the next.
With a significant contribution from Australian science, COVID-19 is now the most treatable respiratory virus known to man. The case-to-fatality ratio of Omicron is likely to be less than that of influenza, and not a particularly bad flu at that. That will allow us to release all but the least intrusive of restrictions.
Most critically, this means we can leave behind any policy that impacts upon a child’s education in the name of COVID-19 control. It means our adolescents and young adults will be free to associate, to travel the nation and the world, and any restriction to that liberty will arise in only the most dire threat to our health. Such a threat grows more and more improbable by the day.
In light of our community success, the evolution of the virus to a milder form and effective new treatments, the time for mandates and whole-of-community restrictions is therefore over. The case for fear of COVID-19 is now restricted largely to the social media platform of Twitter.
2022 will be the year the pandemic ends. It could even be sooner than we think.
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