Thomas Kirsch Unfortunately, both of these paths could be a year or two long, but degrees of normalcy will likely be won back in the meantime: Come summer, Americans might get restaurants but no music festivals, offices but no crowded beaches, bars with spaced-out seating.
Projecting when each facet of daily life will be restored would be easier if public-health authorities had an omniscient view of who is infected, who has recovered and become immune, and who is still susceptible—this is the information that would emerge from widespread testing, which the United States is terribly behind on deploying.
Read: The crisis could last 18 months.
Be prepared. Epidemiologists I interviewed stressed that they have no idea when life will be unfrozen, but they walked me through a series of possible timelines on which Americans might be able to safely start leaving the house to make money or do fun things again. Below are those timelines, including some turning points to reguular out for in the coming weeks, months, and years. It could be eight to 12 weeks.
Chan School of Public Health. Both of these eventualities would make it okay to go out again in a couple of months, but even if Americans are still mostly cooped up at home in late spring, public-health experts will have learned more about the virus by then. Also in a month or two, public-health authorities and researchers will likely have a better sense of whether those who recover from an infection are immune to future infections, and if so, for how long.
That information will come in handy for containment efforts. With this new information, Hanage said, it might be possible to isolate contagious or more vulnerable people, while a large portion of the population returns to something resembling normal life. Meanwhile, if some places have much higher incidences of the disease than others, people in some states and cities might leave home sooner or during different periods than people elsewhere in the country.
And in three to four months, researchers might have identified a treatment for COVID—not a cure, but something that could quickly and reliably ease symptoms and prevent deaths. But whether either of those theories applies to the coronavirus is not yet known. In both, at least some of the social distancing measures now in place continue into the second half of the year.
In the first universe, Noymer said, summer will be a bit more fun than spring was, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. Outdoor activities in small groups would probably be fine.
Maybe bars and restaurants would reopen. Hanage thinks that sports leagues might in the summer but without crowds, and that TV shows might forgo studio audiences. Meanwhile, stores might cap the of shoppers allowed in at once.
But the smaller-scale units of American life might be phased back in. It might even be relatively safe to travel nnow see loved ones.
Also, the country would hopefully be in a better position to absorb another wave of infections. The summer would be a good time to produce more ventilators, hospital beds, and the protective equipment that health-care workers wear possibe prevent infection. With the proper steeling, social distancing might be able to be scaled back further.
The current oncoming spike in cases would, hopefully, subside as a result of isolation measures taken now, but the risk of a resurgence would remain high in the warmer months. At that point, social-distancing measures could be modified according Loooking the situation.
If another onslaught of infections appears to be approaching, Americans could be stuck where they are now. More out-of-the-house working and socializing might take place, but this would still be a world with possile hand-washing, well-smothered sneezing, and generous amounts of hand sanitizer and suspicion of anyone who disregards these public-health norms.
In all likelihood, people who can work remotely or order food via delivery would still do so instead of leaving the house. He also worries that social-media rumors of, say, people coughing near a certain polling place could cause turnout there to plummet.
Spring is about the earliest anyone expects one to be available. Posssible take so long rehular make because they are difficult to perfect. Health-care workers? This would be a disappointment, but even then, America could be well on its way to population-level immunity, perhaps reaching a Teflon critical mass by the fall of And the journey from now to then would probably not mean being cooped up indoors continuously for more than a year.
Even in a vaccine-less world, reaching population-level immunity means that future outbreaks of COVID should be far less damaging than the one the U. The virus might, however, remain threatening and continue to circulate, infecting people like the cold or flu does.