People wait seated to receive a dose of AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Municipal Gymnasium in Linares Mexico February 17, 2021.
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REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
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Monica de Bolle (PIIE)

Even with the alarming spread of variants of SARS-CoV-2, most economists, most policymakers, and perhaps most people have been assuming that at some point the pandemic will end, and life will resume. But what if it does not? Experience in recent decades indicates that these disease events can turn from acute to chronic without going away. A semi-permanent state of affairs happens when virus characteristics get mashed up with medical science, an interdependent global population, social behavior, and political missteps.

The Peterson Institute for International Economics building is closed to staff and visitors until further notice. PIIE personnel are working remotely, with access to telephone messages.

Photo Credit: 
REUTERS/Daniel Becerril