Pittsburgh doctor on pandemic: ‘We will be living with this virus, there is no covid zero’ – TribLIVE

Pittsburgh-based Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious diseases expert and critical care and emergency medicine physician, wrote in a opinion piece this week that it is impossible to eliminate or eradicate covid-19.

This is not possible with an efficiently spreading respiratory virus that has an animal reservoir and can spread from person to person with mild or no symptoms, Adalja wrote in the New York Daily News piece. The goal, which has not often been articulated forcefully or clearly enough, has always been to tame the virus, rendering it unable to threaten us and critically, our hospitals, in the manner it once could in 2020 and early 2021.

Adalja wrote that he believes it is time to break away from an abstinence only approach.

We must break away from that and develop ways for communities and institutions to provide off-ramps from masking, physical distancing and aggressive testing of asymptomatic fully vaccinated people, he wrote. Even though we have better tools to continue to decouple most cases from hospitalization, there will always be a baseline number of covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and death. I anticipate that COVID-19 may ebb and flow with local outbreaks and seasonality. We will be living with this virus there is no covid zero but we will be able to alter the outcomes of these cases with the new tools available to us.

Adalja, a Butler native and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, has emerged as one of the most recognizable national experts on the pandemic. Since Americans first began hearing about coronavirus a year ago, Adalja has become a go-to guy for much of the national media, appearing regularly on CNN, MSNBC and Fox as well as showing up on CBS, NPR and in The New York Times among many other outlets, including the Tribune-Review.

Now, hes calling on the country and world to rethink mitigation measures.

Covid-19 will always be an illness that one wants to avoid through reasonable steps, but it will eventually become something that cannot kill at the rate it once did, cannot inundate a hospital the way it once did and cannot scare us the way it once did. Rather than clinging to our fear, we should welcome the arrival of that day.

Read the entire piece here.

Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or pguggenheimer@triblive.com.

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Pittsburgh doctor on pandemic: 'We will be living with this virus, there is no covid zero' - TribLIVE

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