By now we know that corona virus (COVID 19) will be with us for a long time. A single round of social distancing, closing schools & workplaces, limiting the sizes of gatherings, lockdowns of varying intensities and durations will not be sufficient in the long term.
In the interest of managing our expectations and governing ourselves accordingly, it might be helpful for our pandemic state of mind to envision this predicament – existentially, at least as a soliton wave: a wave that just keeps rolling and rolling, carrying on under its own power for a great distance.
Scenario No. 1. Depicts an initial wave of cases — the current one — followed by a consistently bumpy ride of “peaks and valleys” that will gradually diminish over a year or two.
Scenario No. 2. Supposes that the current wave will be followed by a larger “fall peak,” or perhaps a winter peak, with subsequent smaller waves thereafter, similar to what transpired during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic.
Scenario No. 3. Shows an intense spring peak followed by a “slow burn” with less-pronounced ups and downs.
What is clear overall is that a one-time social distancing effort will not be sufficient to control the epidemic in the long term and that it will take a long time to reach herd immunity.
“This is because when we are successful in doing social distancing — so that we don’t overwhelm the health care system — fewer people get the infection, which is exactly the goal,” said Ms. Tedijanto.
“But if infection leads to immunity, successful social distancing also means that more people remain susceptible to the disease. As a result, once we lift the social distancing measures, the virus will quite possibly spread again as easily as it did before the lockdowns.”
So, lacking a vaccine, our pandemic state of mind may persist well into 2021 or 2022 — which surprised even the experts.
“We anticipated a prolonged period of social distancing would be necessary, but didn’t initially realize that it could be this long,” Dr. Kessler said.
One thing is for sure COVID 19 will be staying with us for a while and if we dont keep the necessary precautions the entire man kind and even the upcoming generation might be in a real trouble unless we find the vaccine for everyone.
STAY HOME, STAY SAFE!