Is the pandemic over or not? I understand that I'm not the only one who has this question.

I, like most of the world, was excited to get back to "normal" life as soon as possible. I don't think anyone anywhere is ready to go back to living life under Covid restrictions.

Multiracial people in the city wearing face mask
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Then I read this from the Irish Star that mentions a kind of scary "20-year prediction following their most recent Covid warning."

If you're looking for worse news, apparently my question as to whether the pandemic is "over" has been answered:

A spokesperson for WHO said that the pandemic is 'far from over' as infection levels are 'two to 19 times' higher than numbers being reported around the world.

Hospital Coronavirus Emergency Department Ward: Doctors wearing Coveralls, Face Masks Treat, Cure and Save Lives of Patients. Focus on Biohazard Sign on Door, Background Blurred Out of Focus
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Then there's this:

The US is reportedly fighting its 'second-worst' ever Covid situation.

Whether you want to believe the "reportedly" part or not, there has been an uptick in Covid cases in Illinois:

The Land of Lincoln has seen hospitalizations increase by approximately 28% to 30% over the last four weeks, Dr. Vidya Sundareshan, infectious diseases specialist with Southern Illinois University Medicine and medical advisor to Sangamon County Department of Public Health, told the News-Democrat recently.

Hospital Coronavirus Emergency Department Ward: Doctors wearing Coveralls, Face Masks Treat, Cure and Save Lives of Patients. Focus on Biohazard Sign on Door, Background Blurred Out of Focus
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Here's the part that got me though, the outlook on the future with people who have had Covid, and those who might still according to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove head of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit:

Five years, 10 years, 20 years from now, what are we going to see in terms of cardiac impairment, pulmonary impairment, neurologic impairment? It’s year five in the pandemic, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about it.

I don't know what's scarier, Van Kerkhove's outlook on the next two decades or the fact that the doctor referred to the pandemic in the present tense.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

Gallery Credit: Stephanie Parker

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