SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Bridget Gordon, owner of the Green Pig Pub in downtown Salt Lake City, has been working on the front lines the entire pandemic.
“It's getting frightening again, yeah, and I'm just not sure about the future with this right now” Gordon said.
Gordon’s is still running her pub at half the number of tables she could.
“After like four months of this, five months of this I'm going 'Oh we're not going to be good.' This is here to stay” Gordon said.
The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. So, how close are we to ending it? Health experts and professors believe there are three ways to end the pandemic.
One way, and the least likely is, eradication.
Smallpox is the only virus on earth that's ever been eradicated and that took 100 years.
Another way to end the pandemic is through elimination of COVID-19.
Polio was essentially eliminated with mass vaccination, which took 30 years here in the U.S.
Kimberley Shoaf, professor of public health at the University of Utah, said the most likely outcome is that COVD-19 will evolve into an endemic at some point in the future.
“So, endemic means that we have the disease controlled” Shoaf said.
People who have immunity can help stop or slow the spread of the virus. Shoaf doesn't believe we will end the pandemic through natural immunity, she said the vaccine is the key.
She says more than 90% of the world needs immunity before technically the pandemic can end.
“I've heard anything from three years to 10 years that this virus will be around with us; I think it ends being a pandemic as soon as we can get enough vaccine around the world.”
Shoaf said there are still strains we encounter today from both the influenza pandemics of 1918 and H1N1 from the 2000s.
Treatments will play an integral role in ending the pandemic. Treatment options are currently limited and expensive.
Shoaf hopes widely available and accessible treatment options for COVID-19 will be developed.