University of Michigan Doctor Predicts Pandemic 'Burns Out' in 2022

January 10, 2022, 8:11 AM

Dr. Jim Baker: "Covid-19 will not define our actions."

University of Michigan Health immunologist and professor Jim Baker predicts the Covid pandemic will wind down in 2022. 

Dr. Baker, who has expertise from his time on the Army's Pandemic Response team, recently posted at his blog:

I am predicting that 2022 is the year that the Covid-19 pandemic burns out.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be SARS-CoV-2 infections in the coming year, or that news outlets won’t breathlessly announce every new variant. It means that by some time in 2022, for practical day-to-day living activities, Covid-19 will not define our actions.

We have been focused on number of infections with Covid-19 because of the very sensitive and accurate diagnostic tests (PCR) we have developed. In contrast, as we look at the end of the pandemic, we now need to focus less on infections and more on deaths. That is truly the important marker of a pandemic’s impact and the only comparable measure to the 1918 flu epidemic where there were no diagnostic tests.

In the 1917 flu pandemic, after the initial burst of infections and deaths, two waves of deaths followed, each one less impactful. This is how pandemics end; two “echo” waves each being less and less significant. It is because in each wave the most susceptible individuals have been killed off as the rest of the population develops immunity. A similar pattern was seen in the 2011 Influenza A pandemic and it has now emerged with Covid-19. This pattern shows the Covid-19 pandemic is burning out.

Read more:  Pandemic Pondering

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