There has always been a declaration from the World Health Organization (WHO) about when a pandemic would end. In August 2010—when the last pandemic struck us, the H1N1— world’s apex agency declared: “The world is no longer in Phase 6 (full-fledged pandemic) of the influenza pandemic”. The H1N1 virus had largely run its course.” But as we enter the eighth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, a similar declaration seems a far cry. Unlike H1N1, the current one is far from over; it is setting records in terms of spread. So, how will the world will handle such pandemics in the future.
The H1N1 pandemic lasted 15 months, and arguably, it is the shortest pandemic spell in recent history. The COVID-19 pandemic, by far, has turned out to be unbridled and deadly, and has given no hope of a slowdown. It could beat historic records, as daily record cases show. As of July 8, 2020, more than 180 countries reported new cases by the thousands every day. But no fresh academic articulation of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic has caught people’s attention. Rather, there seems to be a certain feeling that many more such pandemics will be striking us. But are we prepared?
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July 16, 2020