Recently the World Health Organization stated that we could be living with the coronavirus for up to 5 years if the virus cannot be maintained. With that being said, many have been wondering how that could impact life as we know it. Even if a vaccine is discovered sooner rather than later, there will still be major social, economic, and political consequences we will have to deal with. Covid-19 came into our lives less than a year ago and has made such a powerful impact on the everyday lives of civilians across the globe. Will this still be the case come 2025?
Firstly, let us assume scientists have been able to find a vaccine that can produce antibodies for the virus. It would still take a very long time for every single person to be given this immunity. Some may not be able to afford it, some may not be deemed at risk enough and some may flat out refuse. It is also likely that only the extremely vulnerable, those in positions of power, and the super-rich will have access to a vaccine straight away, which suggests that although the media portrays the vaccine as the be-all and end-all when it comes to fighting Covid-19, this is not exactly the case.
Despite whether or not the virus is no longer spreading in 5 years’ time, there will be other massive implications we will be struggling with. We will see a powerful social impact that could haunt society for a very long time. Humans are made to be sociable creatures, and thus with the previous lockdown, and the fear that many more are to come, this could really tamper with our mental health for a lot longer than we originally imagined. People are also suffering from losing particular social skills, and babies and children are said to have much lower interactivity than they ought to due to not having the chance to engage with people besides their families. When they reach schooling age, this could harm their education, but also really distress their immune systems, as they have not been mixing with anyone who is their exact age.
With a nationwide lockdown teaching businesses that they could cut overhead costs by having their employees work from home and closing offices, many have decided to take on board this new way of working life. Although it may benefit the business, especially during these tough economic times, however, we must not dismiss the impact this could have on workers. Some may find it hard to be productive when they aren’t surrounded by others, and young people starting off in the workforce will not be able to learn from watching their more experienced colleagues. Also, for many people, going to work may be a bit of an escape from their home life, which means that by combining home and work, many may find it very difficult to switch off, which could dramatically impact their mental health.
This leads to the scary question of what if scientists have not been successful in finding a vaccine for the virus? Living with this spreading for such a prolonged period of time could result in a reducing population and deaths would be increasing even more. Tighter restrictions could be long term, which could be devastating.