Corona winter: Three possible scenarios of the pandemic

Experts have warned about this, many people have ignored it. Now the fourth wave is here and again we are asking ourselves what the winter months will be like during the pandemic. Despite 2G regulations in some places and the obligation to wear masks, the incidences are increasing, breakthrough infections are occurring and the intensive care units are filling up. A new strategy paper by renowned researchers answers the questions and discusses three possible scenarios this Corona winter.

While German politicians are planning a possible draft law on the epidemic situation, various scenarios are possible for science. However, neither experts nor politicians can predict how the Corona winter will ultimately turn out.

Various instruments are available to combat the  pandemic  , which are briefly described below. Depending on which and how these instruments are used, however, different scenarios could develop towards the end of the year.

1. Scenario: “Keep it up”

Assumption: The incidence of infection continues to increase and is only slowly slowed down by further voluntary restrictions and precautionary measures by individual people.

There are no further measures, the previous concept remains in place. Vaccinations and “boosters” only develop positively slowly.

The possible consequences would be:

  • The incidence increases to several hundred per 100,000 people
  • The vaccination and booster rate is only about 10 percent higher after seven weeks
  • The decreasing immune response of those who have already been vaccinated neutralizes this vaccination success
  • Infection dynamics differ by region
  • Hospitals and the entire healthcare system as a whole continue to be overburdened

In summary, the healthcare system will likely be overwhelmed if the current strategy continues. And that could have serious consequences.

2. Scenario: “Working limit of the healthcare system”

Assumptions: Possible corona measures depend on the load limit of the health system. The result: In addition to hygiene measures such as AHA rules and 2G/3G, there are other restrictions that have to be adapted regionally if the health system is overloaded. If the situation calms down, the measures on site can be relaxed.

Possible consequences are:

  • The weekly incidence continues to rise until the additional measures of the red corona traffic light take effect
  • The corona numbers are stabilizing and possibly falling
  • A high incidence of 100 infected per 100,000 people
  • Booster and  vaccination progress  (1 percent per week)
  • Relaxations due to renewed vaccination progress come into effect

In addition to vaccination and booster progress, further measures and test strategies are necessary to stabilize the incidence. The healthcare system can continue to be overloaded due to acute corona cases and long-COVID patients.

3rd Scenario: “Vaccination and Booster Offensive”

Assumption and basis: The anti-severe effects and the immune response diminish over time. Older people, high-risk patients and people who have been vaccinated early are particularly at a higher risk of infection. A booster vaccination is intended to increase protection in order to achieve a similar effect in Germany as in Israel.

The faster the boosters take place, the faster the second wave will be broken – but the current vaccination progress is not sufficient.

Mobile vaccination teams, vaccination centers and company doctors should be used to increase the range of vaccinations so that booster vaccinations and basic immunizations can be carried out effectively.

Possible consequences and effects:

  • A booster rate of 50 percent can help break the wave
  • The health system could be relieved
  • Basic measures are enough to get through the winter

Conclusion: Progressive basic immunizations and booster vaccinations are important measures to relieve the health system and counteract the second corona winter in a row.

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