Viruses change all the time. While we’ve been learning more and more about COVID-19, it’s been learning more and more about us.
The likelihood is that it will keep changing. After all, like all living things, it wants to survive.
Calling it a new variant is perhaps a little generous as a new strain certainly seems more pertinent. A strain on our health. A strain on the economy. A strain on our relationships; and a strain on our general wellbeing. Although a good diet and exercise is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, there’s far more to ‘wellness’ than just doing the things we’d typically associate with being healthy.
COVID has robbed us of many things, including the ability to just be ourselves and do the things we do that can help keep us well.
Never in living memory has an event like COVID taken place that has such wide implications and in the future, we’re likely to talk about many things pre and post COVID and how we navigate this new and daunting future.
Many people at the beginning of the pandemic were staging “when things get back to normal” only to later realise, ‘normal’ was never going to be the same. A new normal will have to take shape and we may look back hazy eyed into the carefree ways we used to be, before COVID.
Luckily, at the time of writing, there’s vaccines that have already been approved and are rolling out as quick as they can be administered, with a few more promising ones on the way. It needs to be remembered, and appreciated, that a vaccine with efficacy was never a guarantee. However, with many of the world's brightest minds all working together, we were all hopeful in the expectation that they would succeed.
Vaccines by design however, are only effective to protect against the thing they were designed to prevent, and while the vaccine appears to be both effective and safe against COVID-19, we still don’t know much about the new strains that are popping up throughout the world and it’s newfound increased ability to spread.
Once the majority of people have been vaccinated, there will be a sign of relief for the world, however our ways will have to change so that we’re not playing catch up if there’s a COVID-24 or a COVID-31. Or perhaps something more sinister and virulent.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as people collectively, we do generally learn from our mistakes and with something like the pandemic being so deeply etched in all of our minds, we’re far more likely to take similar issues much more seriously in the future, as will funding for greater research and development into prevention and cures to similar diseases.
Who knows, if this pandemic has told us anything, it’s that you never quite know what’s round the corner, but many of our collective hygiene habits will no doubt have improved, as will our consciousness of making space and perhaps we may have even quashed the taboo of wearing a face covering in future, if you were to experience any cold or flu-like symptoms.