The end of the pandemic won’t come from biology or medicine — it will come from us. History indicates it is social behavior, not some epidemiological data point, that ends respiratory pandemics.
By Peter Doshi, associate professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland and David Robertson, doctoral candidate in the history of science at Princeton
And for those embracing stricter mitigation methods, it is crucial to understand that there won’t be a clearly definable biological endpoint to the pandemic. Only when they integrate the risk from covid into their lives and resume normal social interactions will the pandemic end. Much as they hope for a clean, neat endpoint, history indicates such a thing doesn’t exist.
At the end of the day, it is not the virus that makes the timeline — it is us. The pandemic will be over when we say it’s over.