ATHENS HEALTH SUMMIT

No return to pre-Covid normalcy, scientists say

no-return-to-pre-covid-normalcy-scientists-say

There will be no return to the “normalcy” that society knew before 2020 as the coronavirus will continue to exist and “we will have to take regular booster shots, most likely in an annual dosage,” according to Elias Mossialos, a professor of health policy and a former minister of state, who spoke to the Athens Health Summit organized by Kathimerini.

To assess Greece’s “performance” in relation to other countries in terms of dealing with Covid-19, one must take a number of factors into account, such as the number of deaths per capita, comorbidity, health systems and other epidemiological data, he explained.

In Greece, the over-65s make up 22% of the population, compared to 11% in Israel.

“If one made a simple comparison, one would say that we did not do too badly. We have lower vaccination rates than France, Ireland and other countries and higher ones compared to Bulgaria and Romania. So we have good levels compared to several European countries. Of course, we have not convinced a significant percentage of vulnerable groups and the elderly.”

The former PASOK MP and government spokesperson said that, “logically, the virus will become more contagious and less dangerous, which will be the result of stronger vaccines and medication.”

He said he did not expect the country to enter another total lockdown, but said local restrictions could not be ruled out.

“Lockdowns are not a solution. They kick the problem one or two months down the road. Vaccinations and the administration of the third dose should proceed immediately.”

For Nicholas Christakis, a Yale University professor of social and natural science, we are currently near the “end of the beginning” of the coronavirus pandemic and not at the “beginning of the end.” He noted that such pandemics appear “once in 100 years.”

He predicted that, by 2022, humanity will reach herd immunity through a combination of vaccination and infection. Then, in the “intermediate” phase, the world will gradually recover from the health, social and economic costs of the pandemic.

In the third, post-pandemic phase, from 2024 onward, there will be an explosion of sociability and artistic and possibly sexual expression, as a result of the suppression felt during the lockdowns.