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Medical experts weigh in on end of COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:06 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 18:06:32-05

BALTIMORE — How can we get across the COVID-19 finish line?

That’s what medical experts discussed Wednesday during a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health COVID-19 expert briefing.

They say the country is not nearing the end of COVID-19, and that a “zero covid” society is unlikely. The focus now is on trying to reach as many unvaccinated people as possible so that COVID-19 becomes less dangerous with transmission, hospital rates continue to go down , and the disease can become less dominant in everyday life.

"Going forward, we're going to have to learn to be adaptable in our decisions,” said David Dowdy, MD, PhD, an Associate Professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a General Internist with Baltimore Medical Services. “There is never going to be a pandemic mission accomplished day. We're likely to see local outbreaks and perhaps winter surges for many years, if not for our lifetimes."

Dr. Dowdy says as immunity builds up cases will likely get milder over time. Bottom line, he says the end of COVID-19 shouldn’t be discussed until everyone who is willing to get a vaccine gets one.