Published February 8, 2022
Two years into the pandemic, weary governments are hoping the fast-spreading but less severe omicron variant marks a turning point, a shift toward a more predictable and manageable phase. Determined to escape the crisis and avoid more restrictions, officials in some countries suggest it’s approaching time to treat Covid as an endemic disease, like seasonal flu. World Health Organization experts say that’s premature. With omicron ripping through populations and vast parts of the planet still unvaccinated, the pandemic isn’t over. The bottom line: the path to reaching that endemic stage is full of uncertainties, posing tough questions for policymakers everywhere.