Doctors say COVID is likely here to stay

Doctors say COVID is likely here to stay

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - What’s life going to look like in six months, next year, or five to ten years? The truth is, we don’t know, but what experts do expect is that we are going to continue living with COVID in some way, shape, or form.

Right at this moment, things are looking slightly better. Vaccines are rolling out, although not the way many had hoped.

There’s been a dip in COVID cases and hospitalizations, but doctors say now is not the time to let our guard down.

“Who slows down once you break into the lead?” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, CNN Medical Analyst asked. “It make zero sense.”

That’s largely because of new variants circulating in the United States. The new variants are the reason why experts believe we will more than likely be living with COVID for years.

“It could possibly linger on for decades maybe even centuries,” Dr. Mark Burns, an infectious disease specialist at UofL Health said.

“Viruses have been with us forever,” David Johnson from 4sightHEALTH said. “It’s entirely rationale to expect particularly how widespread this disease is worldwide and the amount of travel, that we will have some version of COVID-19 with us for a long time.”

Hopefully coexisting with it will be easier. It will be similar to how we’ve been living with the flu which also mutates. The COVID vaccination is key.

Doctors have said in the future, we will likely be getting COVID booster shots to deal with the variants. Prevention methods such as masking, distancing, and testing will continue in some form too.

“It’s going to take several months for us to get to the 70 to 75 percent of the population vaccinated that we need to get the herd immunity that puts the virus in check,” Johnson said.

When will be completely back to normal? Burns believes it will be a while.

“Two years to get totally back,” Burns aid. “But, again, things will be improving as time goes on. Things that we have in place slowly being reversed.”

Doctors say if we lose our vigilance with mask wearing and social distancing, the hope of getting back to normal will get further away.

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