After one month of peak cases, Covid-19 cases and deaths are declining in the UK. Less than a month ago, the UK saw 40,000 to 50,000 new cases every day. Experts and government officials were concerned about how this would affect the NHS.
Although cases are now falling, Professor Tim Spector, the study’s lead scientist Zoe Symptoms and co-founder of a program that tracks the spread of the virus, thinks we’ll continue to live with Covid for a while.
In fact, Professor Spector thinks that people should not only have to worry about this coming Christmas, but Christmas for the next five years.
Speaking online at the Covid-19 series of the Royal Society of Medicine, Prof. Spector said experts now have a better picture of coronavirus than they did this time last year.
When asked if enough is being done to make sure people can celebrate Christmas safely and avoid a blockage this year, he said, “We’re not doing enough, we’re too complacent,” adding that Covid will influence “Christmas over the next few years.” five years “. ”.
With 7% of beds occupied by people with Covid during the busier colder months, Professor Spector has expressed concerns about the NHS, saying the healthcare system is in a “dangerous” position.
Data from NHS England – analyzed by the King’s Fund’s think tank – also suggested the NHS was “on its knees”, with a “chronic shortage of manpower” pressing the healthcare system.
“We have to realize that we just have to somehow control [Covid] in something that does not cause so much loss of life, does not cause disease, and reduces that, ”said Prof. Spector.
“And doing that is a combination of the vaccines, the drugs, etc. But we also need to keep some public health measures in place to keep those numbers down – we’re not doing that.”
We know the pandemic is not over, but not everyone agrees that it will still affect Christmas in 2026.
Professor Paul Hunter, who is an expert on infectious diseases at the University of East Anglia, thinks it is too early for anyone to say whether Covid will affect Christmas in five years, as it depends on so many factors. But he does say that Prof. Spector is right when he says that vaccines will not be enough to control the pandemic on its own.
“What was probably the last big coronavirus pandemic was in 1890, 130 years ago, and that really lasted four to five years in total,” prof. Hunter tells HuffPost UK. “That virus (betacoronavirus OC43) still exists, but it’s just another cause of the cold. But this time with Covid, we had vaccines and we did social distancing, so that time scale could be extended.”
In September, Prof. Hunter wrote an article explaining that while vaccines can limit severe disease soon, they don’t necessarily end the virus, immunity to infection begins to decline. Because of this, “herd immunity is unattainable.”
“The evidence is that a natural infection is better than a vaccine to do this [reaching heard immunity] in the long run, so how long this pandemic will cause us problems will largely decide how many infections we have in the coming years the more infections in the next year or more, the sooner we will have to stop worrying, ”Prof. Hunter explains.
“But of course more infections now translate into more disease and more pressure on health pathways now, unless we get a good development of a booster vaccine. So it’s not an easy balance to beat.”
The comments of both scientists have one thing in common: they center on the idea that Covid is becoming endemic. If Covid-19 becomes endemic in the UK, like the flu, it means we are likely to see recurrent outbreaks, but hopefully at lower levels.
However, we all know that the severity of flu strains can vary from year to year, so only time will tell how big an impact Covid will have on us at Christmas 2026.