Does SARS go away? This raises doubts that letting the virus burn itself out would be a sensible, safe, and ethical answer to the COVID-19 problem. It would be safer to imagine a future where we can live side by side with SARS-CoV-2. Yet the virus that caused the original Sars disease – SARS-CoV-1 – no longer haunts us. What can its disappearance tell us about the likelihood of living in a world without SARS-CoV-2? It was evident by early 2004 that the Sars outbreak had ended. Starting in 2002, this epidemic lasted about one and a half years, infecting at least 8,000 people and killing 10% of them. Although it mostly affected East Asian countries, by its end Sars had spread worldwide. In the midst of the turmoil, there were fears that Sars could become a serious pandemic. The virus was passed on by respiratory transmission, had spread internationally, and had the ability to cause significant disease. Why did the original Sars epidemic come to an end? Well, SARS-CoV-1 did not burn itself out. Rather, the outbreak was largely brought under control by simple public health measures. Testing people with symptoms (fever and respiratory problems), isolating and quarantining suspected cases, and restricting travel all had an effect. SARS-CoV-1 was most transmissible when patients were sick, and so by isolating those with symptoms, you could effectively prevent onward spread. Nearly everybody on the planet would remain susceptible to Sars in the decades following its disappearance.