As discussed and analyses in the below posts, "enough people wearing respirators" could be an equilibrium point of the final social evolution under the selective pressure of COVID-19, because people wearing resprator (and gloves) could block the propagating path of the virus and lead to smarespiratorll R0.

anybody provide other candidates of the final equilibrium point?

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Most equilibria aren't "final", though some may last quite awhile. Candidates for some longer-term equilibria (not in desirability nor likelihood order):

  • Innoculation/immunization works well, and infrastructure for frequent updates for variants is solid.
  • Pervasive low-level infection. Most people get it at some point, and get each variant as it shows up. The vast majority survive.
  • Humans become extinct, or fall to such low population and tech levels that the virus dies out.
  • Herd immunity. Enough survivors that it becomes very rare and dies out.

It's not clear that "wearing respirators" is anything but a transition, and an extension of time to minimize the pain while getting to an actual long-term situation.

Herd immunity may not be reachable since we did not know how long the immune effects could last for infected people.

Correct. It's not clear which long-term equilibria are likely. Early evidence of mutations ( [] ) could help or hinder some of these - if mutations are common and large enough to make previous antibodies ineffective, the immunity and immunization ones get tougher. If mutations change the lethality, but not the immune response effectiveness, then the pervasive low-level infection of less-lethal variants become more possible. I will bet a lot against full-time serious mask (well-fitted N95 or better) use for a majority of people for more than a few months.
1Yandong Zhang2y
I understood that there would be strongly against toward serious respirator. A picture of kids wearing scary respirator is kind of unthinkable to me. However, it is the only equilibrium point that I did not see any scientific uncertainties. Besides the theoretical consideration, in reality, mine workers had used respirators to protect their lung for years.
1Yandong Zhang10mo
Any new thoughts? It seems that the mutation of RNA is too fast.
1Yandong Zhang6mo
Do you have any new thoughts after two years?
I'd have won my bet on a technicality - I see almost zero proper use of quality masks, though pretty pervasive mask theater. Seems prior infection is slightly less long-term effective than hoped, and vaccination about as expected. We're closest to equilibrium #1+2 (vaccines fairly effective at preventing serious problems, but not at eliminating the virus entirely), but we haven't seen a variant that really tests our responsiveness, so I'd argue it's not a long-term equilibrium yet. Nobody talks about herd immunity any longer, as far as I can tell.
1Yandong Zhang6mo
The vaccine does not prevent the transmission (to my best knowledge, for both Delta and Omicron; I am not anti-vaccine). A simple calculation suggests that the linear contribution (reduce the death rate, etc.) provided by the vaccines was dominated by the exponential contribution of increasing R0 of the Omicron. It looks like the only equilibrium is still universal N95/other PPE, in theory.
I wonder if we mean different things by the word "equilibrium". I think it means a somewhat stable outcome as a balance of opposing forces. Universal proper masks isn't happening and isn't sustainable (people hate it), so will never be an equilibrium. Vaccines that bring individual risk down to tolerable levels, and some amount of NPI theater, so that the disease continues to infect people but most people aren't severely harmed could be a possible equilibrium, but I don't think it's been going on very widely for long enough to call it one yet.

After two years, should this post get more upvotes? 

We need to think earlier, before too late. Nobody could exclude the possibility that the COVID would last tens of years. I did have some knowledge of genetic algorithm and understand the power of small mutation. Hope more research could be done to control/predict the consequence of mutation, as the mutation itself is not predictable. 

2 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 4:43 PM

Is this a misspelling?

Should be smaller R0. However, I meant not to fix it. It took 22 months that CDC start considering to recommend N95 and some areas (Salt Lake city) starts giving free N95.

People who did not understand the richness,fastness, unpredictable, of COVID's mution could not appreciate my conclusoin two years ago.