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How Will the Coronavirus Pandemic End?

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

By Nathan Park Class of 2023

 Gaming animation of large robots

It’s become a world-wide disaster with people losing jobs, the stock market crashing, and individuals having to constantly stay in fear of who they encounter or what they touch. The COVID-19 pandemic also known as SARS-CoV-2 has become a daily topic in the local news stations and something we’re constantly being warned about from our friends, families, etc. It was just in the last three months that we even knew of the existence of the virus and now it has infected more than 2.5 million people and has killed more than 179,000 people worldwide. So the question everybody is wondering about is: “When is this going to end?”

The Spread of the Virus

A pandemic is a “disease outbreak that spreads across countries or continents.”(WebMD) It affects more people than both an epidemic or an outbreak and it is because of the novelty of

the viruses that cause the human immune system to be incapable of attacking back, thus resulting in a large number of people being infected in such a short amount of time. The viruses compel our bodies to create new systems of defense in our immune systems such as providing new antibodies or other systems of defense that can be used to fight back the virus.

The problem with this is that it can take years before the human body can find a solution to fight back the viruses, which is why the pandemics are able to take away so many lives before our bodies can become immune to the virus. The virus is spread through human contact, as many people know, and it is when the respiratory droplets enter into one’s body through the coughing or sneezing of an infected person that one can become infected.

Past Viruses and Their Solutions


The Black Death was an epidemic that arrived in Europe and Asia in the mid 1300’s and went on to kill almost 200 million people. The plague first arrived in Europe in 1347 when 12 ships arrived at the Sicilan port of Messina loaded with dead crewmen and a few survivors who were covered with black boils that were filled with pus and blood.

Unfortunately, before they could send these ships out, the disease spread to the locals, then moved to bigger cities such as Rome and Florence, until eventually covering the entire continent of Europe and killing 60 percent of its population. The Black Death was very contagious and was transmitted to a person even with the slightest physical contact. It was originally spread through fleas as well as rats and because of the lack of information during this time, people began to develop a theory of the disease being transmitted by cats and dogs. This lead to thousands and thousands of animals being killed and also an immense waste of time for the citizens.

Nobody could find a solution to this disease, but what some of the officials in Venetian-controlled port city of Ragusa did observe was that the disease was spread by physical contact. So they began to force sailors to isolate themselves in their ships for 30 days before they could come on shore, in order to prove that they weren’t infected. The Venetian officials called this trentino.

The isolations of the sailors turned into 40 days or even more and the term was changed to quarantino which is where the word “quarantine” originated from.

Eventually citizens all over Europe began practicing isolation in their homes and those while those who had died were buried in mass graves. The Black Death never really ended and went on to have its occasional outbreaks for many centuries. As technology and medicine began to advance, people began to practice sanitation and maintaining good hygiene, resulting in less cases of the Black Death.

Developing Immunity to the Disease

The Spanish Flu, also known as the H1N1 Influenza Outbreak, was one of history’s most deadly pandemics that lasted two years from 1918-1919 and infected over 500 million people world-wide, a third of the world’s population. It also killed about 20 to 50 million people, much more than the amount of people the corona virus has killed. It was of avian origin (birds) and was one of the most unusual pandemics because, while past influenza outbreaks had infected mainly elderly people, this pandemic was killing healthy young adults whose ages ranged from 20 to 40 years old. Because science was not as developed as it is today, scientists were struggling to find solutions to this problem.

This pandemic had only ended when those who recovered developed immunity to the disease and began passing on these genes to their offspring.

Of course, the pandemic didn’t simply leave, but it began to affect a lesser amount of people, demoting into an epidemic. The disease lasted for about 40 more years and it was only eliminated when another influenza virus, H2N2, caused another pandemic to occur that killed 1.1 million people worldwide. It’s intriguing how the Spanish Flu was finally kicked out, and immediately replaced by another virus. Today, the flu is a virus that people can easily recover from because of our body’s extraordinary ability to create immunity against new viruses. While humans were struggling to find ways to stop this pandemic, Mother Nature was able to kick out and replace the H2N2 pandemic with another less severe virus and this teaches us an important concept as said by virologist Florian Krammer, “‘Nature can do it, we cannot.’”

Possible Endgames

So now we are all asking the same question: how is the coronavirus going to end? By looking at past pandemics and our current situation, researchers have found three possible engames to the situation. The first being very unlikely, the second being very dangerous, and the last being one that will take a lot of patience. All of these situations are determined by three factors: social, political, and scientific.

According to The Atlantic, the first possible outcome is that “every nation manages to simultaneously bring the virus to heel, as with the original SARS in 2003.” Though there is a very small chance of it happening due to the numerous countries the virus has spread to, the possibilities exist and it is all based on social and political factors. If somehow all the nations are able to grasp control of the situation and also their citizens, the virus may be able to be controlled and traced so that it will spread to less people.

The next possibility is one that will take a short amount of time but also many innocent lives: developing immunity to the virus. Our body’s first response to a virus as novel as the coronavirus is to build up a system of defense in our immune systems that will be able to detect and eradicate the virus.

Unfortunately, this takes time and, in most situations, the body dies before being able to complete this. Despite this, there are people whose bodies have successfully developed immunity to the coronavirus and have been able to recover back into their normal states. Like many of the influenza pandemics in the past, this pandemic could kill millions of people and allow the ones who developed immunity to the virus to stay alive. This scenario would take place relatively quickly, but would result in millions of lives being lost. This option has been considered by other countries, including the UK and US, but many have backed away from the idea after taking into consideration the many lives it would take away. It is a matter of morality and ethics and something that results in many lives being lost either way.

The last option is a vaccine. By trying to create a vaccine for this virus, countries will be taking the longest as well as the most complicated route. The amount of time it will take to create a vaccine is unknown, but it will take some time and even after creating it, the outcome is unknown as the vaccine’s availability will need to be taken into account as well. This is the best option because, unlike the flu virus, coronavirus “don’t have as many ways to interact with host cells” (Scientific American). Because of this deficiency, if the virus loses its interaction with the host cell, it is left with nowhere to go, thus losing its ability to duplicate. Again, this will take the most time because after creating a vaccine, millions more need to be created, shipped out, and distributed to the people.


1.Denworth, Lydia. “How the COVID-19 Pandemic Could End.”

Scientific American, Scientific American 2020.

2. Editors, “Black Death”, History, History, 30 March. 2020.

3. “1918 Pandemic (H1N1 virus)” Cen-ters for Disease Control and Preven-tion (CDC), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 20 March. 2019.

4. “1957-1958 Pandemic (H2N2 Virus)” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2 January. 2019.

5. Roos, Dave. “How 5 of History’s Worst Pandemics Finally Ended”, History, History, 27 March. 2020.

6. Yong, Ed. “How the Pandemic Will End?” The Atlantic, The Atlantic, 25 March. 2020.


Knowing this information, he was also able to convince millions of people to help him on his journey due to his remarkable public-speaking skills. Known as one of the best orators histories has ever witnessed, Hitler was able to captivate his audience like no other and “promise them that his empire would reign for a thousand years.” (Business Insider) As said by Nobel Laureate geneticist George W. Beadle, “‘Few of us would have advocated preferential multiplication of Hitler’s genes. Yet who can say that in a different cultural context Hitler might not have been one of the truly great leaders of men, or that Einstein might not have been a political villain.’” (PNAS) Environments have millions of different ways to impacting a person and also are something that can never be created exactly, thus showing how it is impossible to know the outcomes of a person with genomes containing intellectual or evil-minded characteristics as the genotype, as explained, is only one part of what makes up an individual.

So then, what if there are people who wish to clone people because 1) a couple is unable to produce children 2) a gay couple that wishes to have children containing their genes 3) any other cases. Though it can be seen as “right” to clone a child for the happiness of the people who wish to have a child, the technology in cloning is far from being able to produce a healthy child. As proven by past experiments with cloning animals, cloned animals have been confirmed to experience many problems in their body including heart defects, lung problems, and even gaining excessive weight as they grow into adults.

Although cloning of an individual is not yet possible, it has been discussed over by countries and many of them including Canada, Australia, and many more came into the conclusion that it should be banned. The United States has fifteen states that banned cloning and three that prohibited any funds from going to the development of cloning. There are many more pros and cons that need to be discussed on cloning, but despite the many complex parts of a human being that are yet to be explored when it comes to cloning, with society’s advance knows what our future holds for us?


1. Ayala, Francisco J. “Cloning Humans? Biological, ethical, and social consider-ations.” PNAS, PNAS, 21 July. 2015.

2. Rettner, Rachael. “Could Humans Be Cloned?” Live Science, Live Science, 16 May. 2013.

3. Castro, Joseph. “FAQ: How are Cloned Animals Made?” Live Science, Live Science, 18 October. 2011.

4. Weintraub, Karen. “20 Years after Dolly the Sheep Led the Way – Where Is Cloning Now? Scientific American, Scientific American, 5 July. 2016

5.Geib, Claudia. “We’re Getting Closer to Cloning Humans. Here’s What’s Stopping Us.” Futurism. Futurism. 16 April. 2018.

6.Macias, Amanda. “Why Hitler Was Such A Successful Orator.” Business Insider. Business Insider. 13 May. 2015.


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