Even as the fight against Coronavirus is in the second year, experts have categorically said there is no way the virus will be eradicated from the face of Earth and there will never be a 'zero Covid-19 death' day in the near future.
The worst fears of the scientific community sadly fit into the realistic outlook for this virus's trajectory.
The experts say that the discussions around the globe at the government levels will soon turn towards the 'tolerable' or 'acceptable' levels of coronavirus deaths. At some point in the future, the governments will have to, per force, abdicate the near total responsibility for reining in the virus and protecting each life.
That sounds bad but that appears to the only scenario the world is veering around to.
People around the world will learn to live with the virus while the governments will no longer be able to enforce lockdowns to control the spread. Vaccination of all adult population, for example, will be a variable benchmark for the governments to ease restrictions and usher in 'normal life'. Beyond that, the living inside the cocoon of 'locked-down safety' won't be available as an option for the public.
Various experts in the United Kingdom spoke to the Daily Mail as to what the outlook for the killer virus will be like. They all agree that coronavirus will never be eradicated and people will have to live with the virus.
What will be Normal Death Rates?
There will still be hundreds of deaths a day even after vaccination goes past a critical threshold and the government eases restrictions.
Some experts believe that one objective for the government could be to bring down Covid-19 deaths to levels comparable with flu deaths. That means between 20,000 and 50,000 deaths due to Covid-19 will have to be accepted as 'normal'.
"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," said Professor Karol Sikora of the University of Buckingham.
"If you look at deaths and excess deaths from influenza, the Government tolerates numbers up to about 50,000 [per year]," said Cambridge University epidemiologist Dr Raghib Ali.
The vaccination drive is on fill swing around the world. While developed economies with smaller populations have nearly achieved their vaccination goals, large population countries are chugging along on that path.
Huge Number of People at Risk
However, the important question is, what's next after all people are vaccinated. By all consensus, vaccination will prevent serious illness and deaths in as many as 90 percent people. Then what about the rest of the population? The statistical possibility of at least 10 percent of the vaccinated people contracting the virus and some of them dying still remains.
In the UK, for example, this 10 percent would amount to as many as seven million people. Extrapolated globally, this is a huge number of people that are vulnerable.
"Even if you've got a vaccine that cuts deaths by more than 90 per cent, that still leaves almost 7million people not protected. Then there will be even more people who get infected but do not get seriously ill. So that still means lots and lots of virus circulating which poses a risk to those vulnerable 7m," said Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist at Reading University, according to the Daily Mail.
It's safe to conclude that hundreds of millions of people around the world will be vulnerable to the virus in the foreseeable future. And a strict lockdown is not going to be the answer.
No 'Forever Lockdowns'
"We can't stay in lockdowns forever, people need to make their own risk assessments. If people are worried about Covid or think they might be vulnerable, then they might decide not to meet up with others or socially distance," said Keith Neil, an emeritus professor in infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham.
UK's health minister Michael Gove expressed his concerns on similar lines. While the governments must do "everything we can to protect people", the public must also accept that there would be deaths from Covid.
"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," he told Times Radio.