I have to be careful with metaphors; what makes sense to me doesn't always make sense to other people, or they give me odd looks after awhile and say "how did you think of that?"
That's your caveat.
To a virus, an organism is fuel.
There is no normalcy for fuel in a fire.
The fire goes out on its own when the fuel is exhausted. (We are not going to get into "heat, fuel, and oxidiser" because this is a metaphor; Aristotelian fire, if you will.)
If we want the pandemic to end, we have to end it.
What we've got right now (I'm in Ontario, Canada) is a government taking the view that using hoses is expensive and disruptive; you only use the hose when the fire is of a certain size and scope, and then you stop instantly when the fire is noticeably smaller.
If someone were to apply this policy to an actual house fire, it would be instantly recognised as lunacy. You put the fire out, completely and definitively out, as quick as you can by any available means. If you can't put the fire out, you get out as fast as you can.
Since we're all in the position of being piles of dry hay while some spectral lunatic runs around with a lighter, you'd think we'd have noticed this is a problem in some politically meaningful way, but it turns out that we can't. There's no effective opposition because the entire political system has been captured by mammonite axioms which say that the purpose of government is to guarantee the profitable conduct of business to the benefit of the incumbent rich. Spending money to support the general prosperity or even keeping people from dying is unacceptable and wrong.
Ending the pandemic takes a bunch of things; they're all well-understood things. (A planned real shutdown for three weeks, which means everyone and everything commercial, which in turn means feeding people/paying them to stay home during; mandatory vaccination delivered to the home as a public service; enforced quarantines at borders with careful testing to exit; widespread and effective testing freely available in the population; track-and-trace with quarantine and enforcement powers; free effective masks for all; universal and continuous mask wearing outside the home; no public gatherings or non-essential human contact until extirpation.)
The critical, core, missing thing is the political will to do it, because an exercise of the civil power capable of ending the pandemic can do other things; it can decide to tax the rich, it can decide to decarbonise, it can decide to consign mammonism -- a belief we are watching unambiguously decide it's fine with killing every living human person if profits increase -- to the ash-heap of history. Those in control prefer your death to any change in the status quo.
Many have died who need not have died. Many have been harmed who need not have been harmed.
Our government is incompetent AND malicious.
It's past time to make an end of this.