Medical expert says some pandemic norms are 'here to stay'

Epidemiologist Abdul El-Sayed said Wednesday that while more states are lifting coronavirus-era safety restrictions, Americans should be prepared for certain practices such as working from home to stay in place amid the continued threat of new COVID-19 variants. 

In an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” El-Sayed said that as New York and California, two of the states hit hardest by the pandemic in the early months, have now lifted most of their restrictions on businesses and social gatherings, the country is still on a recovery process “that is going to last a while.” 

“I think the last 15 months have really changed the way we think about our relationship to work, changed the way we think about our relationship to the public,” he said. “Some of the things that we’ve taken as part of our normal in terms of work from home… those things are kind of here to stay.” 

“COVID is not going to just go away,” he added. “We know that this virus evolves, and because it evolves, it’s going to spin out new variants, which is happening as we speak.” 

El-Sayed also hypothesized that the virus will “be with us seasonally, even if it’s not causing a full-on pandemic.” 

“Because of those continued risks, navigating those risks on an institutional level, such as in the workplace, that is a real challenge,” he said. 

Watch part of El-Sayed’s interview above.