What is the only thing that can be said for sure about Corona?

That it's not over yet.

Anyone who hoped that the disease would eventually lose its terror has always been disappointed.

It's one of the few constants in this pandemic.

Morten Freidel

Editor in the politics of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper

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There was a belief that things would get better soon, right from the start.

The vaccine fueled that hope.

Soon after everyone was scheduled to be vaccinated, some were already talking about the disease as if it were being eradicated.

Then came Delta and threw away all the hard-won certainties.

Now even people who had been vaccinated twice could pass on the virus.

Vaccination remained important, but it no longer offered a quick way out of the pandemic.

Omikron is now giving people hope again.

Because after a few weeks it became apparent that the variant is highly contagious but also more harmless than previous ones, some suggested simply letting it rush through the population.

The virus was supposed to do what the vaccination campaign couldn't.

It should also immunize the holdout in the last corner.

The number of infections would explode, but would also collapse just as quickly.

A short spook, then it would all be over.

But there is bad news: Even this hope could be deceptive.

This is indicated by a study from Austria this week.

It shows that Omicron-infected people only produce a few antibodies if they have not had any contact with Corona before, i.e. have not been vaccinated or infected.

If you only get Omikron, you would hardly be protected against other variants.

A contagion would therefore bring little, especially not for the unvaccinated.

Experts still have to appraise the study.

Also, she only deals with antibodies.

How well someone is armed against Corona depends not only on them, but also on the T cells.

Nevertheless, the study dampens the expectations that some have of Omikron.

No end of Corona in sight

Then there would be Israel.

For a long time, the country was considered the “vaccination world champion”.

While people in Germany were still arguing about where the Biontech doses went, the Israelis were already queuing for the vaccination.

They were the first to receive a booster last summer.

The country seemed well prepared for Omikron.

It wasn't like that, on the contrary.

This week, Israeli doctors treated more seriously ill corona patients than ever before.

Many people died.

If there is no end in sight even in Israel, why should it be like that in Germany?

Is there a never-ending pandemic?

First of all, experts point out a misconception: that Corona could end as abruptly as the disease came.

The virologist Ralf Bartenschlager, President of the Society for Virology, says: "This idea only prevails in our heads." In fact, the virus nestles in society.

This is what is meant when talk shows talk about having to learn to “live with Corona”.

Bartenschlager doesn't exactly consider this to be a "paradise."

It means “that there will always be people who are susceptible to an infection and who also fall ill with it”.

And epidemiologist Klaus Stöhr, formerly head of the World Health Organization's global influenza program, says: "It was clear from the start that there would never be a vaccination