COVID-19: Is It Time for Optimism?


Feb. 23, 2021 — When the first COVID vaccines arrived, people started talking about the “light at the end of the tunnel.” Then the post-holidays surge hit with record numbers of cases and deaths, virus variants emerged, and that light was feeling pretty dim. But now as cases and hospitalizations have dramatically dropped, are we finally getting close to the end of the tunnel?

How optimistic should we be that the end of the pandemic is truly, finally in sight?

Public health officials and researchers have predictions about when and how that end to the pandemic will come. Some see a serious chance for a return to some kind of normalcy in a matter of weeks. Others might wish that to be true, but believe we will still be living with the coronavirus for months to come.

For example, while top researchers said April could be the month we emerge from a long pandemic, Anthony Fauci, MD, the chief White House medical adviser on COVID-19, said this week Americans may still have to wear masks in 2022, but life will be sort of normal before then.

Here’s a sampling of opinions about how optimistic we should be that the pandemic is nearing its end, and why:

Marty Makary, MD, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, predicted in a Wall Street Journal commentary, published Feb…

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