The novel coronavirus is one of humanity’s most dangerous threats of all time. Yes, we’ve been through the Plague and two world wars, but if the pandemic spins out of control (and it did in some regions), the consequences might end up just as serious.
The target of the virus is simple – It wants to invade and take control of host cells and multiply for as long as possible until it reaches a new host.
When would that algorithm stop? There’s nobody left to infect, either when humans own a cure to the virus or when everybody is dead.
SARS-CoV-2 has infected over nine million people worldwide and ended the life of nearly half a million in approximately seven months.
About 7.7 billion humans have avoided contact with the infection, but that does not mean that they are safe.
Thankfully, humans have some tricks up their sleeves.
First of all, public health officials have suggested that it would be better if citizens avoided the sorts of activities that provide the virus opportunities to spread, which is why we got social distancing and the lockdown.
Meanwhile, scientists have analyzed the behavior of the virus as well as its composition and history, so now it’s only a matter of time until one of the sides wins the battle.
There are several potential outcomes for the current pandemic.
One of them implies the concept of “herd immunity,” which happens when a virus is so successful that it ultimately ends up isolated – Uninfected targets that survive are too far apart from the virus to keep spreading.
Unfortunately, there is no way of precisely determining if that will be the outcome of the current pandemic or not.
However, the world has gained a lot of useful information about fighting and preventing pandemics, so we can safely say that we are a bit more prepared for such an event than we used to be.