Flashpoint Interview: University of Michigan immunologist says pandemic will end in 2022

Michigan seeing highest daily COVID case counts since pandemic began

University of Michigan immunologist and professor Dr. Jim Baker joins us on Flashpoint this week to discuss the state of the pandemic, and it's potential end.

With the coronavirus spreading at an unseen rate in Michigan and beyond, it can be hard to imagine any end in sight.

But University of Michigan immunologist and professor Dr. Jim Baker says he thinks the pandemic will come to an end in 2022.

Dr. Baker joins us on Flashpoint this week to discuss the current state of the pandemic and its future.

“When we talk about pandemic, this huge wave of infection that goes around the world, we usually see a lot of different phases,” Dr. Baker explained to Devin Scillian on Sunday’s Flashpoint program. “The more people are immune to the virus, the more people have a vaccine, the less likely they’re going to have a serious effect from this.”

Dr. Baker has been keeping a pandemic blog and recently wrote about the pandemic ending this year.

“We have been focused on number of infections with COVID-19 because of the very sensitive and accurate diagnostic tests (PCR) we have developed. In contrast, as we look at the end of the pandemic, we now need to focus less on infections and more on deaths. That is truly the important marker of a pandemic’s impact and the only comparable measure to the 1918 flu epidemic where there were no diagnostic tests,” Baker wrote.

“In the 1917 flu pandemic, after the initial burst of infections and deaths, two waves of deaths followed, each one less impactful. This is how pandemics end; two “echo” waves each being less and less significant. It is because in each wave the most susceptible individuals have been killed off as the rest of the population develops immunity. A similar pattern was seen in the 2011 Influenza A pandemic and it has now emerged with COVID-19. This pattern shows the COVID-19 pandemic is burning out.”

Watch the interview in segment three of the Jan. 9, 2022 episode of Flashpoint in the video player above.

Related: Flashpoint Interview: Michigan Gov. Whitmer talks COVID response amid surge

About the Author:

Devin Scillian is equally at home on your television, on your bookshelf, and on your stereo. Devin anchors the evening newscasts for Local 4. Additionally, he moderates Flashpoint, Local 4's Sunday morning news program. He is also a best-selling author of children's books, and an award-winning musician and songwriter.