CHAPTER 24: The COVID-19 Pandemic – Global Lessons for the Future
Published:27 Apr 2022
A. Dhawan, C. Hughes, T. Marrs, S. Warren, M. Waters, and D. Anderson, in The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Future Volume 2, ed. M. D. Waters, A. Dhawan, T. Marrs, D. Anderson, S. Warren, C. L. Hughes, ... C. L. Hughes, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2022, pp. 604-624.
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There is now a near consensus that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) will be an endemic infection in humanity for the foreseeable future. So, the elements to cope with it (and all of its future variants) will require several forward-looking actions, such as the selection and systematic implementation of various situationally dependent “best practices” to reduce or even prevent transmission. In addition to access to, affordability of, and pertinent use of testing for the general population. Such tests need to be easy, cheap, reliable, and universally available, supported by a secondary/tertiary set of other more clinical and laboratory-based tests that can be predictive of the likely pending clinical course for individuals who are positive and to track evolution of the virus. Healthcare providers must have a set of effective medical therapies that can be trusted to have good efficacy and safety to treat people who do inevitably get coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) so that after diagnosis, the clinical course can more consistently be favorably modified. Therapies need to include drugs for use in the early, middle, and late stages of the disease course, because patients are going to show up for care at various stages of disease progression. It is not yet clear how many of the apparent long-term adverse outcomes will prove to be most consistently observed and/or require the most long-term care and rehabilitation. Nevertheless, systems of care will need to be available and accessible for the many people who will need sustained care long after the acute illness has resolved.