Amid another rise in cases, Covid’s new normal has set in

By | September 11, 2023

Helen Branswell writes:

Among people who are still paying attention to Covid-19, there’s been a recent surge — not just in viral activity but in the concern once again being paid to Covid.

Headlines announce that transmission is surging and hospitalizations for Covid are rising by alarming percentages. There’s debate in some places about whether or not to resume wearing masks. People are worrying about whether the latest subvariant, BA.2.86, spells bad news for our fall and winter, and whether soon-to-be-released booster shots will be a match for it or whatever variant follows.

While the angst is understandable, there’s something we need to grasp at this point in our coexistence with SARS-CoV-2: This is our life now.

“I see so many people say: ‘Remember, Covid’s not over,’” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and director of Brown University’s Pandemic Center, told STAT.

“Covid’s never going to be over. You need to set expectations accordingly. It is never going to be over.”

Covid is now like influenza, RSV, rhinoviruses, and a large number of other pathogens that will at some point or points in a year increase in transmission activity and then decline, ceding the stage to something else that can make people cough, sneeze, run a fever, feel lousy, and sometimes require medical care and can on occasion lead to death. To be sure, Covid currently is the worst member of that gang, still killing more people a year than influenza, which previously wore the worst actor badge. [Continue reading…]

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