Looking Ahead: The future of the pandemic

Residents postulate about the future of the pandemic and our post-Covid world. Although they express optimism about the waning of the disease, these residents are less certain about the long-lasting effects of the pandemic on U.S. politics and healthcare systems.

Covid-19 will persist but will become increasingly manageable

Covid-19 will become like other manageable diseases: I’m optimistic about the pandemic, I mean it may be around like, like the flu that some people will get sick every year, but there will be vaccines, it will be manageable, especially for people who live in places like Kendal. - Mary Simons

Shifting from collective health measures to individual risk assessments: Once we have reached a certain level of less risk, I don’t think there was enough emphasis in talking about how you can be self-sufficient, keep yourself safe, in a world that’s changing to non-masking. Lots of these folks, yeah you know, are gonna have to get used to shedding their paranoia, and living um more carefully, you know, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. - Dan Reiber

Did we learn any lessons for the next pandemic? I think that the pandemic itself you know who knows about this virus? Maybe it will mutate again. Or maybe other viruses…So I don’t know. I think that one can only hope that enough people have learned something from having to respond to some big issue that we could collectively come back together. - Judi Bachrach

Concerns for the healthcare community

Ongoing impact on hospitals and healthcare professionals: "I guess my biggest concern is really for the health community. For the medical community. I mean people are so burnt out and people are dropping their jobs and all the people who are filling the hospitals desperately, desperately ill and dying because they didn't get vaccinated." - Former Oberlin Resident

Covid-19 revealed preexisting deficits in healthcare and other institutions: "The pandemic revealed so much systemic difficulty with government problems, everything from racism to you know inequities on all levels, our healthcare system, all these things have always been there, America is wonderful and beautiful and has been --- for a long time. So for me the pandemic was just one more piece of an unknown variable that we are not going to control." - Judi Bachrach