Covid-19; We all know what that is, a contagious pandemic that has caused an immense amount of loss and devastation and has effected tons of people all over the world

You are chilling in your cozy room. As usual, you drank your coffee, stretched your body preparing to work just like every other normal day.

Until... zap!.... an inexplicable mystical beam of light blazed the earth out of the blue wiping out every single covid-19 virus in existence. Nobody has any idea where it came from or what just happened, everything seems completely normal at first glance.

Question: How long would it take for us to notice the sudden disappearance of this virus?

What are the things we will notice first?

  • Nobody will be reporting anymore covid cases
  • All covid-19 tests will be negative

I guess it will be very quick to notice these as everybody will be sharing on social media and will spread the news very quickly.

After we notice these,
How long would it take to make sure and fully confirm that covid-19 has fully disappeared? How can we do so? How long would it take to convince everybody?

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    $\begingroup$ Everybody infected with the virus will suddenly be healed Won't happen. The virus may be gone, but most of the damage is caused by the body fighting off the infection. That won't be affected if the virus suddenly disappears. People intubated in the hospital will remain intubated in the hospital; people who are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms won't notice any difference $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Sep 8, 2021 at 9:22
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    $\begingroup$ @nzaman -- Of course it's possible. Textbook definition of a miracle. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Sep 8, 2021 at 9:24
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    $\begingroup$ ? Hospital personnel in Idaho will notice immediately that their workload became much lighter, there are no queues in the admission room and half their patients are feeling well. The central health statistics department of quite a few countries will notice within 24 hours that the new cases dropped to a trickle. The internet at large will notice the drop as soon as Worldometer updates its graphs. The three other questions are interesting. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Sep 8, 2021 at 9:32
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    $\begingroup$ @elemtilas yeah sorry, i didnt notice there is already an answer when i edited the question. I will be more careful next time $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2021 at 10:06
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    $\begingroup$ Any test that is based on detecting antibodies will still be positive, as these things aren't the virus, but are what the tests detect. I don't know the details of the current testing regimes out there, but don't count on all tests being negative, at least as this question is framed. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Sep 8, 2021 at 16:12

2 Answers 2


Extremely quickly

EDIT: This was written when the question also said that the symptoms of the illness also disappear. Leaving it as such.

The difference — if only the virus disappears — is that the timeline is extended to about 3-5 days, instead just 1 day. But the effect is just the same.

enter image description here

Suddenly waking up like this is bound to cause some upset. Image Credit

...because suddenly you have tens of thousands of people in intensive care, simultaneously waking up with a tube down their throats. That is not a pleasant experience.

If you are serious about "Everybody infected with the virus will suddenly be healed", that is what will happen; people that were on the brink of death are suddenly pulled back into full health.

The first notices will reach news media within an hour, talking about "miraculous" cures. At first this might be treated as a mild curiosity, but when similar cases start pouring in, they will understand that something extraordinary has happened.

In the following hours, confirmations from other indicators — such as negative tests — will come in. Within 24 hours, it will be obvious to everyone that something magical has happened...

...and then mass-panic sets in, because — as I said — magic has happened. Something completely outside our understanding has eradicated an illness from Earth. People will be fearing for our very existence on this planet, because any entity / force / phenomenon that can help us like that, can also destroy us, at the literal blink of an eye. Religious manias will be rampant. Organised society as we know it will be upended.

Where it all goes from there, is up to you.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Sep 15, 2021 at 13:44

Never (at least not with the way we’re handling things at present).

Currently we’re in the middle of flu season. You might not know it, but 0 flu cases were tracked in 2020. It is not because we accidentally eradicated the flu, but rather because (until very recently - May or June 2021, I think) the same test for that was used for COVID-19 also returned positive on the common cold, flu, and COVID-19.

Only a handful of cases got the expensive and time consuming detailed analysis it takes to distinguish between them. All positive results that didn’t expend the extra labor for detailed analysis were lumped into the COVID-19 count (hence, no flu)

Look at the charts, and you’ll see the winter spike follows cold season very closely.

Aggravating the situation was guidance to amplify samples (let the culture sit and grow) so much that nearly every test returned a positive. Many places are now paying attention to cyclic threshold, but I don’t believe it is yet universal.

A similar case is true with hospital ICU space. Hospitals are “right sized” for what they expect capacity to be. In my county of around 40,000 people there are 14 ICU beds. That means they expect around 14 people, on average, to be needing the Intensive Care equipment due to any kind of malady (cancer, natural disaster, or tractor combine accident). Because Intensive Care equipment is expensive and hospitals are under pressure to control costs, there are very few (if any) spare beds. When Intensive Care is “strained” what you could accurately say is that those 14 expected people are taking up beds, and there is not room for a 15th person.

So, let’s imagine COVID-19 were to disappear tomorrow.

  • PCR tests will continue to flood in as “positive” as cold and flu season is still in session.
  • Hospitalized people will recover at different rates, because their bodies have been injured.
  • There will continue to be people coming to the hospital room with severe illness. Bear in mind that the flu (now “gone”) was one of the top 5 causes of death worldwide (even in the first world) before everything became COVID-19
  • Folks doing the detailed analysis will notice that all of the familiar variants have disappeared from samples, but new common colds will likely be identified as “new variants”
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    $\begingroup$ "the same test for that was used for COVID-19 also returned positive on the common cold, flu, and COVID-19" No, that is false information spread by anti-vacc:ers. Please do not promulgate that nonsense. Genetically, SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A/B are as different as a Sea Anemone from an African Elephant; sure, they are both animals, but they are nothing alike. Also, right now this is off season for Influenza. Everything you just said is wrong. apnews.com/article/fact-checking-436833075130 $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Sep 8, 2021 at 10:51
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    $\begingroup$ James, no. I will not engage against — what is identical to — anti-vaccine rhetoric. I am simply telling you: no, you are wrong. Absolutely wrong. No, COVID and cold/flu are nothing alike. No, COVID is not "just another flu". No, your conclusion — that no-one would notice anything because flu would instantly take COVID's place — is bonkers. You are entirely wrong in your entire post, none of the claims you make stand up to scrutiny. I am done. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Sep 8, 2021 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ (1) "The same test for that was used for COVID-19 also returned positive on the common cold, flu, and COVID-19": if you think for a second about it, you would realize that a test which cannot distinguish between the common cold and the flu would be useless and stupid. In reality, of course, usual COVID-19 antigen and PCR tests have quite high specificities (= won't be fooled by something which is not COVID-19), over 98%. (2) "Currently we’re in the middle of flu season": maybe in Patagonia; certainly not in the northern hemisphere. There is no such thing as a world-wide flu season. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Sep 8, 2021 at 12:47
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    $\begingroup$ "New common colds identified as new variants" is saying that medical lab people have no integrity and are lying. While you might believe that everyone is lying to you, there are people who tell the truth (most people, in fact). Even the microscope images of a common cold virus look very different than those of the Covid-19 virus. A "detailed analysis" is very clear between colds, influenza, and Covid-19. $\endgroup$
    – David R
    Sep 8, 2021 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ @JamesMcLellan PCR tests, in particular, are very specific. They look for the DNA fragments we tell them to look for. They don't match the flu. If their PCR test is positive you don't need to sequence their virus to know it's COVID and not the flu. $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2021 at 14:57

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