As the US prepares to enter into its third winter season dealing with COVID-19, an unanswered question—first asked back in the earliest days of the pandemic—remains: When will it be over? Unfortunately, the answer may be “never”—many experts no longer believe the virus will ever be eradicated, and instead, will become an endemic disease.

The thought that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) will become an endemic virus or disease—one that has a constant presence in a community at lower levels—isn’t exactly a new one. In May 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) put this theory on the table. “This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” Michael Ryan, MD, MPH, executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said in a press conference at the time. To read the full story.