August 17, 2022

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What will corona bring us this year?  Four positive experts cautiously

What will corona bring us this year? Four positive experts cautiously

Marion Copmans – “Slowly We Can Do More”

“I expect that we will gradually be able to do more,” says virologist Marion Koopmans of Erasmus MC. “It remains to be seen how long it will take until we get to the situation where this virus is part of the winter package. I keep in mind that this is really going to take some time.”

A number of scenarios have been identified by scientific think tanks. Koopmans: “I think the most plausible scenario is the one that assumes Corona becomes influenza-like, or severe influenza, and the scenario that relies on a ‘prolonged battle’. The latter fits the situation we’re still in now. We expect it will get easier in the spring, But we have to keep in mind the unpredictability of this virus.”

new variable

Koopmans isn’t ruling out introducing a new variant this year. That’s why, according to the virologist, it’s important to make a long-term plan. “This pass will come from the Ministry of Health. So it’s important to realize that we have a virus and that a lot is possible. But we also have to take into account regular measures.”

The fact that Omikron is taking over our country can have a positive effect because this alternative seems less disgusting. “On the other hand, without measures, the spread is so fast that it leads to problems again. For example, we see abroad that a lot of people are getting sick, for example, care in the UK is having problems. The desire to do something gradually “.

Gear Rikers: ‘No more shutdowns’

“About 60 percent of cases are now made up of the omicron variant and that number will only increase this year. Suitable for people who have been vaccinated and already have a booster. They are hardly bothered by that,” says Immunologist Non Rikers.

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“We know this variant is more contagious, but it probably won’t make you that sick. Look at South Africa: there are far fewer people who end up in the IC than the delta variant. These are favorable signals.”

mild cold virus

Rijkers doesn’t expect any major new variables this year. “Although of course you never know. Changes in variables are usually slow. Omikron is really an exception. I expect that when a new variable comes in, it will be some kind of derivative of an omikron variable. I don’t expect a new variable that will restore everything.” And this is helpful, Because significant immunity to the omicron will soon be built, the virus will cause less and less damage. Although this still means that people with weakened immune systems can die from the virus.”

Rijkers does not expect a new shutdown this year. “I think corona, like other coronaviruses we already have, only become active in the winter and eventually turn into a mild cold virus. I don’t think it will happen this year. I don’t know how long that will last.”

Anki Hakredeh: Two scenarios

“I am an optimist, but I find it very difficult to estimate what the corona will bring us,” says vaccine specialist, Anke Huckriede. “The virus has already unpleasantly surprised me several times. For example, the speed with which Omicron appeared. When corona appeared at the beginning of 2020, I thought: this will be here to stay. It turns out.”

Huckriede expects the coronavirus to eventually become a milder cold virus. But how long will that take? “I really have no idea.”

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optimistic and pessimistic scenario

The professor has two scenarios: an optimistic and a pessimistic scenario. “Because of the boosted shots and because many people have corona as a result of the infectious omikron variant, the immunity is increasing more and more this year. Because of this increased immunity, I hope this year’s fall wave will be much less than in previous years. I think there will be fewer cases of disease. Dangerous, so I would mainly expect a positive impact on hospitalization.”

The vaccinologist says the number of people who test positive may still be high. “But if you don’t see that reflected in the overload on the health care system, we will be able to live with it.”

In Hackrid’s pessimistic scenario, O’Micron is hit hard and a large number of people end up in the hospital. “What I also wouldn’t rule out, is that there is still a new variant that could go in all directions.”

Gijs Coppens – “We’re Learning to Live With It”

“This year we will create a mindset to learn to live with the virus,” says gz psychologist Gijs Coppens, founder of the OpenUp platform. “Last year we were mainly looking for solutions. But finding a real solution to corona was not successful. Vaccination is very important, but this does not open the world.”

The psychologist says that Corona is still in our lives and we have to learn to live with it. “We have to adapt to this new reality. If we are successful, it will also provide inner peace. And people are very well able to adapt to new situations. We have to, because we don’t know how long the aura can last.” Recent and other epidemics can develop.”

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According to the psychologist, Corona has hit a lot in our lives. It’s hard to predict whether we’ll see a massive wave of burnout or depression this year, according to Coppins. “We know that mental complaints increase in times of lockdown or economic crisis.”

What we also know is that social connections are very important. “So we have to make a long-term plan and ask the question: How much are we willing to sacrifice? A difficult issue that we have to address. For example, we have already learned that closing the school has a very big impact.”

And yes, the most hoped-for summer of love didn’t happen last year. Will we finally get it in 2022? “That could be it. Anyway, we’re in very difficult times with each other, so I sincerely hope so.”