People will remain at risk until most are immune to the virus either through vaccination or extensive community spread, said Yonatan Grad, assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Without a vaccine, the end of the pandemic here could go like this: aggressive social distancing will help flatten the number of infected at any given time, but to prevent a serious reemergence, widespread testing is needed to detect those who have the virus, and those who are immune. Government officials will need to get serious about tracing who has come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the disease, Grad said. Once the virus is under control, he added, officials should attempt to keep infected people elsewhere from bringing the coronavirus back to Washington.
April 8, 2020
Coronavirus has closed Washington’s schools, at least through summer. When will it be safe to return?
[There are predictions the peak in resource use and daily deaths will in less than a week. But that assumes “full social distancing through May 2020”.
I don’t see May being a time we can return to normal. “Normal” will not return until there is a vaccine or herd immunity. Even then, because of our prolonged work from home and social distancing we will have made drastic changes in our society. I expect many companies will shed major portions of their office space. I expect schools will have made significant migration to online teaching.
I see some of this as a very good thing. For many jobs the office space and commuting in a era of high speed digital communications is a waste of resources. Imagine the time, fuel, construction materials, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water, sewer, trash, and transportation bandwidth saved without there being “the office” to go to.
There will be a component of individual responsibility take place that I see as good as well. The need to be “in the city” will dramatically decrease. This will change the demographics and the politics of the nation and the world.
I see the loss of a major portion of the restaurants and small shops in our future. Large retailers will survive only because of their online sales. If something can be sold online and delivered in a small vehicles by one person who drops a package at your door there will be very few local shops which carry it. Items which need special handling such as perishable foods will be the partial exceptions.
We live in interesting times.—Joe]