Is COVID over?

Right from the beginning of the pandemic, many infectious disease experts correctly predicted how the pandemic would progress. The probable end state was that it would transition from pandemic to endemic, and just become a normal part of our lives like the cold or flu. Are we now there? And do we still need The Quarantine Zone as a category on the SDMB?

I believe, according to the CDC we are there.

We should probably keep it around assuming people are still using it on a regular basis.

Couldn’t it also be used for the next pandemic?

My sister has been laid up with it for the past week and a half, and nearly landed in the hospital, so yeah, not so fast. And she’s vaxed.

No, we are not,

No. A major problem is that new variants keep appearing and can be very, very bad. For example:

Cases of the new Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 have been growing rapidly in the U.S., and have now been detected in five European Union countries, including Spain, and are expected to cause an exponential increase in infections over the coming weeks.

In France they already account for 25% of cases, 10% of new infections in Belgium and 5% of new infections in Italy. In Spain, at the moment, they represent 2.7% of active infections, and are expected to be the dominant strain by the end of November or the beginning of December, according to the Minister of Health ,Carolina Darias.

According to Gregory Poland, a scientist at Mayo Clinic: “These variants (BQ.1 and BQ.1.1) can quite possibly lead to a very bad surge of illness this winter in the U.S. as it’s already starting to happen in Europe and the UK.”

But can’t that happen with flu, also?

Yes, it can, but she’s got COVID. Lab tested and everything.

I didn’t mean to cast doubt on whether your sister actually had/has Covid. Rather, the OP asked whether Covid had, or would soon, “just become a normal part of our lives like the cold or flu,” and I didn’t see your sister’s case as necessarily an argument against that.

For comparative purposes, how many Americans per day are dying of it now as opposed to a year ago or two years ago? I stopped hearing regular updates quite a while ago.

Last i looked, covid was the third leading cause of death in the US. Flu hasn’t been anything like that for more than half a century.

None of that is any sort of cause for concern. An exponential increase in infections with what rate? And 25% of what total number of cases? Just because a statement has numbers attached to it doesn’t mean those numbers are in any way relevant.

No, but third leading cause of death feels relevant to me. That’s not just vaccine deniers. It’s mostly old people who were vaccinated

Actually, “nth leading cause of death” is a completely meaningless statistic, too, because you can put anything in any position you like on such a list, by slicing all the other entries fine enough. Like, maybe some cause of death is behind car accidents on the list… so you divide up car accidents into head-on collisions with other vehicles, rear-end collisions with other vehicles, side collisions with other vehicles, and collisions between vehicles and stationary objects, and it’s ahead of all of those. Or if that’s not a fine enough slicing, then separate those out further by drunk driver, distracted driver, road rage, and driver asleep at wheel.

“Primary cause of death for x% of deaths” would be a meaningful statistic. What’s that number look like?

Very good point, and you’ve convinced me. For those who work with actuarial tables and have seen effects of COVID’s impact on life expectancy, the expectation is that the deaths will level off, but we’re clearly not there yet, as it’s causing 7 times more deaths than flu/pneumonia: FastStats - Leading Causes of Death

BTW, here’s a good summary on it’s impact on life expectancy: Interpreting Pandemic-Related Decreases in Life Expectancy | American Academy of Actuaries

I forgot to mention that the question in the OP was also meant to address if COVID will also continue to alter human behavior. At least in the NYC area, things are completely back to normal with respect to social events, shaking hands, etc., although a greater proportion of the population still wears masks (and at least 75% are still wearing them wrong, IME).

Well, the other things high on the list are pretty broad categories, like heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries (numbers 1, 2, and 4)

But that page is pretty out-of-date, being 2020. I’ll poke around and see if i can find something fresher.

Like more than 50%? That’s pretty impressive. Chicago’s not as big or dense, but it’s still a large city, and I’d guess maybe 10-15% here wear masks. Maybe … maybe … 20% in some neighborhoods.

No, not as much as 50% wear them in NYC. Maybe 25% - but I do think many people carry one just in case they end up somewhere a mask is required. I went for a CAT scan yesterday and the facility required masks. Maybe four people out of thirty or so had to take a mask from the box the facility provided - the rest arrived with their own. And the fact that people are carrying them anyway probably prompts some people to put one on in certain circumstances - I’m sure I’m not the only person who would put a mask on if I walked into a store where the employees were wearing them.

Oh, I still carry a mask myself, just in case.