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The Endemic Pandemic

Could it be, it never goes away?

If you remember, waaaay back in February (which is saying something about how long we've known about the disease). Some thought that COVID-19, like the seasonal flu, would diminish greatly once summer arrived. 

Well, summer is here and the pandemic is not gone and in fact increasing in those states that reopened early or perhaps never closed. A few states are considering "going backward" and re-closing some aspects of their economies that they had opened up. Others are staying the course of opening back up and, "damn the COVID-19 torpedoes -- full steam ahead."  

You will know your "ship of state" has been hit broadside by the coronavirus when the hospital system in a city or state has become overwhelmed.  Remember that early preventive action is always the best prescription for limiting the spread of the disease. A few weeks ago, modeling showed that telling people to stay home two weeks earlier would have saved thousands of lives.

Which brings me to the point that our current pandemic is likely to become endemic in our lives. Just like other diseases, coronavirus may never go away. Hopefully we'll have a vaccine eventually. Still the earliest estimates are for like next January -- and even then we won't know the efficacy of the vaccine for months to come. 

Conventions, sporting events, rallies, protests, elections and shopping will all have to adapt to a new reality that doesn't care about our politics.  


Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
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