SARS-CoV-2: What the coronavirus end game may look like


Dark Days ahead for many who will become infected: In the grip of a new infection spreading around a planet with no natural immunity, it can feel like the sky is falling. Over the coming months, it’s likely that a significant share of the world’s population will experience some of the dread of the Covid-19 coronavirus that people in China have suffered over the past few months. Many will die. Still, the likely end-point of this outbreak will see it settle down as an endemic disease — one of a chorus of respiratory viruses like influenza and the common cold that travel around the world year after year, with most of us regarding them as little more than a nuisance. The great unknown is what will happen along the way. Doing the sums can produce alarming figures. The best estimates so far suggest that Covid-19 kills about 1% of people it infects. That number may go up somewhat or fall significantly; either way it could add up to a dreadful toll.

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