Since the beginning of 2020, the French have been living with covid-19. They went through painful times (arrests, curfews), but in the end they found a more or less normal life. For several months, the health pass was not requested. The vaccination campaign paid off, despite reluctance on the part of the population. But what can we expect in the future? Three scenarios were developed by the scientists in the latest 62-page report.
The arrival of a new variant of covid-19
No wonder covid-19 knows how to mutate. We have, for example, the Delta variant, the Omicron variant, the BA.5 variant… The coronavirus has been able to evolve, sometimes with more violent variants (Delta), and sometimes less aggressive variants (Omicron). The idea that a completely new variant will arrive in the coming months therefore cannot be ruled out.. If the latter has a immune escape capacity and sufficiently infectious“, then it can be done” responsible for a new wave of epidemics » .
The 16 scientists behind the dossier consider that this scenario remains a “relatively high probability”, but unfortunately remains difficult to predict. “ The severity of the clinical manifestations associated with this new variant is unpredictable, and can range from mild to severe. “.
However, is this bad news? It’s not necessary. In January, the number of contaminations exploded without an increase in the hospital as well. At the time, it was the Omicron variant that dominated the territory. While it spreads more quickly than others, its symptoms are milder for most affected people. Then they develop a natural immunity. It is the covid-19 that, in fact, helped us out of the crisis thanks to its variety.
There is no new variant for covid-19!
This is a hypothesis that scientists are considering. What if, during the fall, no new variant is produced? An optimistic scenario? Absolutely not. Scientists are convinced that an epidemic rebound will occur during the winter of 2022, with or without a variant. Why? It’s easy” due to the reduced immunity of the population“. In addition, we know that the virus is more present in the winter than in the summer, due to the lower temperature (citizens are more often indoors, and therefore closer to each other).
Going back some steps to limit the collision is not surprising. Masks can return indoors, on public transport. The health pass, on the other hand, should never come back. Unless the government decides to override the decision made by the deputies of the Assembly. This remains a possibility.
The vaccination campaign for the fourth dose was launched a few weeks ago. But the weakest people (over 60, immunocompromised, etc.) are invited to be vaccinated immediately.
A new sub-variant of Omicron
If it is a cousin of Omicron who comes to the territory during the fall, then the continuation of the epidemic that results from it will be easier to control.
” The successive waves of the epidemic linked to the emergence of sub-variants of Omicron, with a less significant impact on the hospital compared to the waves linked to VOCs (beta, delta variant, editor’s note) at the beginning of the pandemic. “, note the scientists.
This is the hypothesis that seems most plausible because a sub-variant of Omicron is already circulating in many countries around the world. He is called Centaur, aka BA.2.75. The variant was first spotted in India at the beginning of July. It was then presented as “a more advanced second generation BA.2 variant”. India is not the only country affected by this variant.
Cases have been found in the United States, Canada, but also in Europe. Indeed, the Netherlands and Germany are concerned. France is not worried yet. But the history of the last two years has taught us that the virus moves quickly and that when neighboring countries are affected, France rarely avoids being affected as well.