Coronavirus Explained: What Does Covid-19 Future Look Like?November 02, 2021

Your cousin was planning his Friday night, and you tried too hard not to show your envy at his new freedom. Covid restrictions are easing in Victoria, and your cousin, a Melburnian, couldn't wait to return to the university. Will the other states follow soon? Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel? Is this a lead-up to an uneasy equilibrium? The answers to these questions, which can sum up the future of the virus, would surprise you.

You were resigned to the never-ending lockdowns and the gloomy news headlines, but it didn't dampen your season. You were reading an interesting essay by your best mate's coursemate, a Dubliner. He argued that the Irish language began to die the moment the English colonisers arrived in Ireland. It made you ponder about the aborigines who inhabited Australia before James Cook set foot in it. Did he commit the crime (as well)? You were tempted to email your tutor when your cousin called you. Private gatherings would be limited to 10 people, he said, and you were touched that he thought of you. First. (He wants to visit Pai, a must-see in northern Thailand. And he's looking for a travel buddy. It would be my first time to get out of the country, he beckoned. Your inspiration lies elsewhere, though. Books that will take you to Europe?) For cinemas, there will be a 75% capacity limit. You're not thrilled about it, though. (Your sister, who is based in New York, saw "The Eternals". She was disappointed, but it was long coming. You asked her if the latest Marvel film reminded her of "Justice League". She was confused, as if you talked to her in a foreign language.) On the other hand, adult education returns to on-site learning for fully-vaccinated students. Your neighbour rued the lack of free will, prompting your other neighbour to call her misguided. You wondered if this was a class issue. (The top-ranked tennis players, all rich and privileged, have that option to be vaccinated or not. That option would be put to the test early next year, when the Australian Open would get underway.) All of these lead to where?

An Exhaustive Examination of the Long Game of Viral Evolution

The coronavirus could become more transmissible. It didn't surprise you after you learned about the origins of the Mu variant. You were speechless when your old school chum asked you if Colombia, where the variant was first detected, was a US state. (Your thoughts drifted to a novel about a cursed desert in Arizona.) It didn't worry you after reading articles on measles and the seasonal flu. It won't last forever, reminding yourself that Covid measures gave you a choice. It's not a restriction on Australian life.

The virus could screw our antibodies. You became worried when you found out that the coronavirus could affect all five senses (and not the sense of smell and taste that most are familiar with). You were quite amused at your uncle after he worried about the virus affecting his sexual potency. (Your mother gave him a look, which he didn't notice.) What was probably more outrageous would be that yarn that your coursemate, an international student, told you (and your other mates) during your last (Zoom) meeting; her grandfather went to see a doctor two months after his second jab. He wanted to have his antibodies checked, only the doctor telling him that there wasn't any trace of the vaccine in his body. So he had his booster shot. The doubtful looks were expected, but you wondered if she was alluding to a Chinese brand.

It probably won't become more deadly. It won't take a genius to figure out that killing its host isn't part of a virus game plan. (No host, no virus.) However, it's possible that the Covid-19 virus could make you really, really sick without killing you. In other words, a face mask must be used in places where it's hard, if not impossible, to keep a distance from the crowd. It gutted you, as you keep on reminding your parents to take you to a theatre (and watch a play).

The Bottom Line

Your sister snickered at the anti-vaxxers and COVID deniers who have rolled out the red carpet for the coronavirus and its deadly variants. They were happily escorting it down the aisle to the altar of illness and death, she added. It made you wish that you were hearing anything else. It brought you back to your cousin, who boasted that Victoria would be the first state to achieve herd immunity. It wouldn't be worth losing a job, he added. He also noted that being barred from social activities would be a lowdown for students. The viral evolution will slow down and our immune system will catch up, where scientists predict that the coronavirus will smolder.

You don't like smolder.

You practiced smoldering looks in the bathroom mirror, and you were embarrassed when your father saw it. (You rather not tell the details.) This uneasy equilibrium hints at our knowledge of the coronavirus. It's unlikely that it will be eradicated sooner because it's still in its infancy. It's not the kind of news that you want to hear, but you can live with it.

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