We were hopeful that the pandemic would end in 2021. But then came the Delta variant, followed by the recently dreaded Omicron, which has got us thinking if Covid-19 would ever be wiped off of the earth. However, here to render some solace in these trying times is Bill Gates. According to the Microsoft Co-founder, the ‘acute phase’ of Covid-19 will end in 2022 despite the emergence of the Omicron variant. Commenting on the development, Gates in his blog noted, “It might be foolish to make another prediction, but I think the acute phase of the pandemic will come to a close sometime in 2022.”
He further added that while “there’s no question that the Omicron variant is concerning,” the speed of detecting new variants, combined with developments in vaccines and antiviral drugs, is what is leading him to be hopeful that COVID-19 would become an endemic disease in 2022.
Commenting further, he added, “It’s troubling any time a new variant of concern emerges, but I’m still hopeful that, at some point next year, COVID-19 will become an endemic disease in most places. Although it is currently about ten times more lethal than flu, vaccines and antivirals could cut that number by half or more… The world is better prepared to tackle potentially bad variants than at any other point in the pandemic so far. We’re in a much better position to create updated vaccines if they’re needed.”
“Communities will still see occasional outbreaks, but new drugs will be available that could take care of most cases, and hospitals will be able to handle the rest,” he wrote while stating, “In a couple of years, my hope is that the only time you will really have to think about the virus is when you get your joint COVID and flu vaccine every fall.”
In addition to the pandemic, Gates wrote about several topics, including the container ship being stuck at the Suez Canal and WHO’s approval of the first Malaria vaccine, and also expressed sadness over his divorce from Melinda French Gates.