Coronavirus Will Be Around for "Decades to Come," Expert Warns

"This infection is not going away," a medical expert in the U.K. warned officials regarding coronavirus.

Let's face it: At this point, the idea of being able to go back to life as we knew it pre-pandemic is an all-consuming fantasy—especially for family celebrations. Even world leaders share in the hope that we will soon be able to return to the way things were, with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson telling reporters recently that he hoped to "return to normality" by the holidays. Unfortunately, medical experts were quick to dash the leader's yuletide wish, saying that coronavirus not only "will not be done by Christmas," but will likely be an issue for many years to come, the BBC reports.

In an address to the House of Commons' Health Committee on Tuesday, Wellcome Trust Director Sir Jeremy Farrar, PhD, stated that although progress has been made, there is no chance of this year's holiday being like the last. "This infection is not going away, it's now a human endemic infection," he said.

A Santa Claus character reads from a list while wearing a protective face mask

The U.K. government's scientific advisory board member went even further to say recent scientific developments had given the illusion of hope. "Even, actually, if we have a vaccine or very good treatments, humanity will still be living with this virus for very many, many years…[Even] decades to come," Farrar concluded.

"The reality is that this pathogen is here forever, [and] it isn't going anywhere," added Sir John Bell, PhD, from the University of Oxford. "This is going to come and go, and we're going to get winters where we get a lot of this virus back in action."

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Bell's assessment comes a week after a U.K. medical advisory group released a report warning that the country could experience a particularly strong winter resurgence of COVID-19 cases, estimating that 120,000 could die during a predicted peak during January and February, CNBC reports. Numbers like that would at least double the death rate the U.K. witnessed during the first wave of the virus. And for more COVID numbers to worry about, check out Here's How Quickly Coronavirus Is Spreading in Every State.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more