lørdag 8. januar 2022

China's zero-Covid policy will fail

We're done with the pandemic. It's not yet done with us. The finish line depends on where you live. Critically, China's zero-Covid policy will fail.

In the developed world, the end is near. You wouldn't think so, given the explosion of cases of the newly dominant and highly transmissible Omicron variant. But those record levels of infections are encountering highly vaccinated populations—bolstered by the most effective mRNA vaccines and, soon, a rapid rollout of Covid treatments that severely minimize the risk of hospitalization and death. That means the pandemic becomes endemic for advanced industrial economies by the end of the first quarter. Even in the developed world, the economic hangover from the pandemic will endure with disrupted supply chains and persistent inflation. A more deadly variant emerging remains a tail risk, but it would still pose much less danger given the tools available to fight it (much as Omicron would've felt apocalyptic if it had hit the world pre-vaccines, a year earlier).

But most countries will have a harder time—and not just because of Omicron.