The Beginning of the End of the Pandemic

on Nov 26, 2020
Updated: Dec 19, 2022

The coronavirus pandemic took the world by surprise. While some Asia-Pacific countries had some experience with previous outbreaks, we cannot say the same about the Western world. 

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In fact, in most western countries, the very existence of the virus was questioned. To this day, conspiracy theories circulate over the Internet.

However, one cannot wonder why governments would go to such lengths to lock entire economies if there was no danger whatsoever. We talk here about the largest democracies in the world, with institutions free to speak their mind.

Fast-forward nine months, and we now see the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Or the light at the end of the tunnel if you want. For all the good reasons, this is fantastic news.

The month of November will remain in history as the month when the world found out about three potentially effective COVID-19 vaccines. Highlighted at the top of the image above, they show efficacy of about 90%-95% in stopping the virus’ spread.

Yet, look at the list below. Look at how many other companies invested in finding a cure or a solution to the disease. In the end, all their products will come to light as well. Hence, the chances are noticeably big for the world to have multiple solutions to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bringing Down the R

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If we only judge by what we know so far about the virus, the efficacy of the three vaccines highlighted above is enough to defeat it. It is all about the R or the reproduction rate of the virus.

The key is to bring the R below 1. If so, it means that every infected person transmits it to less than one other person. Effectively, it means that the virus will die on its own, in time. The lower the R, the quicker the virus will disappear.

Now, without social distancing, the R is about 3. However, with a vaccine of only 66% efficacy, we can bring the R back to 1. Giving that all vaccines announced so far have efficiency that exceeds 66%, the problem could be on its way out.  The beginning of the end of the pandemic could be close.