To the extent that medicine alone cannot prevent lethal outbreaks of covid-19, the burden will also fall on behaviour, just as it has in most of the pandemic. But rather than national lockdowns and months-long school closures, which come at a huge price, the responsibility should fall more heavily on individuals.
Habits like mask-wearing may become part of everyday life. Vaccine passports and restrictions in crowded spaces could become mandatory.
Vulnerable people will have to maintain great vigilance.
Those who refuse vaccination can expect health-education and encouragement, but limited protection.
As our special report on the travel industry makes clear, people’s desire to live their lives will ultimately be hard to resist, even in autocracies like China that may be reluctant to leave zero-tolerance behind. (Full article in The Economist Newspaper 13 February 2021)