NEW YORK (AP) — Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the world has seen a dramatic improvement in infections, hospitalizations and death rates in recent weeks, signaling the crisis appears to be winding down. But how will it end? Past epidemics may provide clues.
The ends of epidemics are not as thoroughly researched as their beginnings. But there are recurring themes that could offer lessons for the months ahead, said Erica Charters of the University of Oxford, who studies the issue.
“One thing we have learned is it’s a long, drawn-out process” that includes different types of endings that may not all occur at the same time, she said. That includes a “medical end,” when disease recedes, the “political end,” when government prevention measures cease, and the “social end,” when people move on.