It has become commonplace to hear the phrases “adapting to the new normal; getting used to a brave new world,” and other similar sayings. As much as it seems the world is getting used to living with the Coronavirus, there are still hopes; not just hope, but efforts to find a permanent solution to the pandemic.
What a permanent solution to the Coronavirus will look like
A permanent solution can come in two ways. The first is developing a cure that is verifiable and can be proven to eliminate the virus from the body system while returning multiple negative tests. If this is achieved, treating the virus would be as simple as handling other illnesses such as the malaria parasite, typhoid fever and others.
While this option is workable and will at least help to get things back to normal pretty fast, it may not be the best on the table. Researchers are still not sure as to if the Coronavirus can re-infect a previously cured individual.
So, can a recuperated COVID-19 patient get reinfected? If this is the case, a cure will fix people up but not protect them from a recurrence of the disease. That means that the world’s population would still be vulnerable to resurgences of the virus. That said, a cure would be very much welcome at the moment.
The most desirable permanent solution to the virus would be the creation of a vaccine. With a vaccine, everyone can be assured of immunity against the virus. A vaccine would be the ultimate conclusion to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Airports and seaports will open up, and we can return to the cinemas and beaches as long as proof of vaccination can be made public.
Now the question arises, how close are we to getting either of these options on a usable scale? You’re about to find out:
Cures: Although there is no particular cure, a couple of drugs previously in existence have shown potential. Particularly Remdesivir, Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir plus Ritonavir and Interferon-beta have all been used to treat COVID patients at different times with impressive results.
However, the results have not been tested for now on a large enough population sample to qualify as official cures for COVID-19. Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine became particularly popular when US President, Donald Trump, touted it as a useful cure. The WHO has, however, warned that there is the possibility of fatal side effects.
Vaccines: Ideally, vaccines take years to even get to the testing stage due to the high level of safety and quality that is required. Fortunately, we are not starting from zero per se. The SARS epidemic back in 2002 (which is a variation of the Coronavirus) prompted the creation of a vaccine by researchers, but it was kept when the virus subsided.
Now, researchers are working on developing that same vaccine to a conclusion, as it will be helpful for this outbreak too. Preliminary tests have been conducted with successful results, but it’s only the first step on a long journey.
It is safe to stay hopeful that a cure or vaccine will be available soon, and we can stop living in fear of the virus.