Welcome to the newsletter highlighting The Economist’s best writing on the pandemic and its effects. Our cover argues that, despite the miraculous arrival of the vaccines, covid-19 is likely to become an endemic disease.
More than 150m doses of vaccine have been administered around the world and they seem to be working to spare patients from death and severe infections. Early evidence also suggests they slow the spread of the virus. But data on how well the vaccines work, including their effectiveness against emerging variants of the virus, will still take time to come in and assess.
The coronavirus will be a feature of life for a while yet. One reason is that making and distributing enough vaccines to protect the world’s 7.8bn people is a Herculean task. Another is that lots of people will remain unvaccinated, either through choice or because the vaccines are not yet licensed for their use.
In Britain, where vaccination is proceeding quickly, polls show that the public supports sharing vaccine stocks with other countries, once the oldest and clinically most vulnerable people have had their jabs.
Covid-19’s second wave has forced many European schools to close again and these threaten to widen divisions of education, ethnicity and class.
Facebook took a stand this week on how it would deal with falsehoods about vaccinations: the social-media company will now remove posts and block groups that claim vaccines make people ill or cause autism.
In a special report on the future of travel, we consider the prospects for an industry that has been brought to a standstill by the pandemic. Our conclusion is that it will recover and may even become a better experience.
And in 1843, our sister magazine, Mark O’Connell deplores the loss of quality time during the pandemic and shares his experience of parenting in a national lockdown.
Next week, listen out for “The Jab”, our new podcast reporting from the sharp end of the vaccination race. Inventing the vaccines has been a major first step in dealing with covid-19. Now comes the hard work of making and distributing them as quickly and safely as possible, before the coronavirus can throw humanity too many more curveballs.