Endemicity Is Meaningless
By now, we’ve all heard some version of how this ends. The same story has certainly been told often enough: We missed our chance to wipe the new coronavirus out, and now we’re stuck with it. Our vaccines are stellar at protecting against serious disease and death, but not comprehensive or durable enough to quash the virus for good. What lies yonder, then, is endemicity—a post-pandemic future in which, some say, our relationship with the virus becomes simple, trifling, and routine, each infection no more concerning than a flu or common cold. Endemicity, so the narrative goes, is how normal life resumes. (Some pundits and politicians would argue that we are, actually, already at endemicity—or, at the very least, we should be acting as if we are.) It is how a devastating pandemic virus ends up docile.
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