When will it end? We are now 18 months into the pandemic, and we seem no closer to escaping its grip. Cases of Covid-19 are surging again. Testing sites are reopening, and hospital beds are again full. Local hospitals haven’t had to again postpone elective surgeries yet, but that remains a possibility. We hoped long ago that in September of 2021, the pandemic, or at least its virulence, would have subsided by now. We were premature in declaring victory over the summer, when case numbers dropped sharply as people started getting their vaccinations and hoped to return to a normal life. But it turns out, not enough people got their shots. Then came the Delta variant, a more strenuous strain, that is sending primarily the unvaccinated to the hospital. All this as schools start up again, in-person for now. Many schools that have reopened have already seen Covid outbreaks among students and staff and have had to put students in quarantine and return to virtual learning. How long will it be before we’re back to wearing masks everywhere? At Melrose-Mindoro schools, their mask-optional policy has been scrapped amid a breakout of cases. It seems thinks are starting to seem eerily like last fall, when the pandemic ran rampant. We don’t yet know when this will end, but the way things are going, it won’t be anytime soon.