Sample Research Paper: Why Scientists Think Omicron is the “Beginning of the End” of the Pandemic

Research PaperHealth
Jan 11, 2022

research paper is an academic project that centers around a main claim or message. Expressed in the form of a thesis statement , this claim or message is expounded and or defended using evidence from scholarly sources and sound reasoning. The sample research paper provided explains why scientists believe that the emergence of the new coronavirus variant known as omicron may turn out to be a herald of the end of the pandemic. 

Since its emergence in late 2019, the  COVID-19 pandemic has more or less been a history of one complication after another. Not only has COVID infected over 300 million people as of January 2022 and claimed the lives of over 6 million people around the globe (Ritchie et al., 2021), a number of variants of concern have also surfaced, thus offsetting the gains made following the development of  COVID vaccines in 2021. First came the Delta variant which appeared in mid-2021. Delta was found to be more contagious than initial forms of the coronavirus and capable of causing infection even among those who have been vaccinated (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). Then came the Omicron variant in December 2021. Omicron is by far the most contagious form of the virus, being two to three times more likely to spread than Delta. Right now, Omicron is set to become the dominant variant (World Health Organization, 2021). Fortunately, preliminary data shows that Omicron is less virulent, which means it causes milder illness than previous forms despite being highly transmissible (Zimmer & Jacobs, 2022). In fact, some scientists believe that the emergence of Omicron may turn out to be the beginning of the end of the pandemic. So how is this possible? How can the virus’s most transmissible form to date initiate the end of the pandemic? The answer lies in the possibility that the rapid spread of Omicron will eventually lead to the development of natural immunity among large populations that will complement vaccine immunity as well as the attenuation of the virus itself.

Firstly, scientists believe that Omicron may usher at the beginning of the pandemic’s end because it is far more transmissible yet less virulent. There is growing evidence that those who contract this variant experience much milder symptoms. This creates the possibility that the Omicron variant will spread rapidly across entire populations without killing too many people. The people who contract it, in turn, will develop a natural immunity that will complement the immunity conferred by vaccines. Thus, the global population will become immune enough to the point that the coronavirus can no longer cause massive outbreaks. Furthermore, Omicron’s ability to spread among so many people means that it will eventually run out of people to infect. As Columbia University professor David Ho states, “As all the public health folks have been saying, it’s going to rip right through the population…Sometimes a rapid-fire could burn through very quickly but then put itself out” (cited in Scipioni, 2021). In other words, Omicron’s mildness may make more people immune while its swiftness may mean that it will soon run out of susceptible hosts.

Another reason why scientists believe that Omicron signals the end of the pandemic is the possibility that the virus is becoming weaker in a process known as attenuation. Variants that cause more severe cases are often less transmissible, largely because people who contract them become too ill to go out and socialize. Being bedbound or getting hospitalized limits contact with each other, and without social contact, they will not be able to pass on the virus. Hence, these patients recover or in some cases die even before they infect others. Meanwhile, the virulent variant disappears following recovery or death since it has nowhere else to go. Less virulent variants, by contrast, are easier to spread, since people who experience milder symptoms or no symptoms at all are more likely to pass them on to others. This process results in the more virulent but less transmissible variants disappearing and the less virulent and more transmissible variants dominating. And once it has gone around and infected all susceptible hosts, it eventually ends as a pandemic and becomes endemic (Orent, 2020). By endemic, it means it only surfaces on certain periods, when conditions allow for it to infect susceptible hosts such as in the case of seasonal flu.

There are also precedents to this scenario. Scientists believe that attenuation is what happened to the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 . The influenza virus that caused it weakened over time until it became endemic. Scientists have actually verified that some strains today responsible for seasonal flu descend directly from the Spanish flu virus, thus proving this virus still exists but in a much milder form (Roy, 2021). This seems to be the scenario playing out now with Omicron on its way to being the dominant variant. However, it is important to note that this is not a license for governments and private groups to be complacent. There is still the risk that the coronavirus may develop mutations that make it more virulent or, worse, more virulent and more transmissible. Vigilance and caution should therefore be observed while infection control measures should remain in place. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat

The current coronavirus pandemic’s  impact on the global economy , social life, and health of millions of people cannot be overstated. In the last two years, it has upended society’s notions of normal life and prompted people to make tremendous changes in every aspect of their existence. But as the world enters its third year of the crisis, the emergence of the Omicron variant offers a glimmer of hope. What was initially considered as the main hurdle may not prove to be the herald of the end of the pandemic. As researchers note, the Omicron variant’s low virulence and high transmissibility may confer natural immunity, hasten its passage through populations, and facilitate attenuation. Only time will tell if these predictions will pan out. For the time being, it is to the world’s interest to remain vigilant, informed, and proactive in their response to the biggest challenge of the modern age.

While a research paper is a common project, there are many other written coursework students are required to write in college and graduate school. These include essayslab reports theses, and dissertations among others. Students know that trying to do all these is sometimes impossible. Luckily, writers are available through CustomEssayMeister. Enlist the help of a professional writer to see the difference having coursework help can make.


References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, August 26). Delta variant. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html

Orent, W. (2020, November 16). Will the coronavirus evolve to be less deadly? Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/will-coronavirus-evolve-be-less-deadly-180976288/

Roy, J. (2021, December 23). Will this pandemic ever end? Here’s what happened with the last ones. Los Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-12-23/will-the-pandemic-ever-end-heres-what-happened-with-the-last-ones

Scipioni, J. (2021, December 22). Omicron could burn through the U.S. — and potentially hasten the Covid pandemic’s end, says expert. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/22/omicron-could-potentially-hasten-the-covid-pandemics-end-says-expert.html

World Health Organization. (2021, November 28). Update on Omicron. https://www.who.int/news/item/28-11-2021-update-on-omicron

Zimmer, C. & Jacobs, A. (2022, January 3). Omicron: What we know about the new coronavirus variant. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/article/omicron-coronavirus-variant.html

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