The world, just like everyone’s lives, has been put to a halt. COVID-19 has had such a massive impact globally that it has changed a lot of how people function. Massive cities that were considered to be a dream to live in now look like a scene from Silent Hill because of how empty they look.
The global response to this pandemic is unparalleled; no disease in the history of humanity has impacted and shifted the entire world to this degree. So the question on everybody’s mind is when it will end? When will we shift back to our normal lives? And finally, will everything be back to the way it was BEFORE the pandemic?
COVID-19 And Its Inevitable Containment — When?
According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the UK will be driving out the virus and send it packing in the next 12 weeks. However, even if numbers do go down and we flatten the curve, it’s far from over.
To recover and to completely negate any possible resurgence of the pandemic, it may take longer than just three months – it could even take years.
To combat the spread of the virus and keep cases as low as possible, cities are currently under quarantine. Everyone is highly recommended to stay at home and ONLY go out for essentials like food and water or if you’re an essential worker (retail, healthcare, etc.) In extreme cases, quarantine passes are handed out with schedules of when they’re even allowed to buy said essentials.
There is an apparent lack of sustainability in this, and we can’t keep this on forever. The economic and social damage will be too much for the countries to shoulder, and the effects would be catastrophic.
Exit Plans — What Are They?
The need to lift restrictions and the quarantine will eventually come up. The sense of normality has to come back so that society can function again, and economies wouldn’t crash. This is why “exit plans” must be created to bring back everything to normal.
But you can’t just lift restrictions, that’d just cause cases to rise again, and we’re back to square one. It’s not only countries like the UK, Philippines, and the U.S that don’t have an exit strategy either. No country has one, and that is a problem.
This leads us to 3 ways to get out of this mess that COVID-19 has put us on.
- Natural Immunity
- Permanent societal and behavioral changes
The most obvious choice, the development of a vaccine can remove the risk of an outbreak. A concept called “herd immunity” basically leads us to vaccinate around 60% of the population to prevent any future outbreak.
The U.S has conducted its first human test recently after skipping the usual animal tests. The development of a vaccine is still undergoing, however, it could still take up to 12-18 months at BEST.
2. Natural Immunity
The current strategy is keeping infections as low as possible so that hospitals don’t get overwhelmed and run out of intensive care beds. The moment that they run out of those intensive care beds, death tolls rise.
If cases and recoveries rise, we may unintentionally become led to herd immunity naturally as infections increase. This could take years to happen and isn’t as reliable as medical workers will be heavily overworked and have casualties.
3. Alternatives — Permanent Societal Changes
If things keep up, some of the precautions that we have today could become the norm. To keep infection rates as low as possible and not tank the country’s economy, things such as work, school, and many other items will be resumed. These so-called “temporary” counter-measures such as social distancing become normal.
The earliest way out will be through vaccines. Hopefully, those are coming soon. Let us all do your part and stay at home if possible. Sooner or later, science will come up with solutions but for now, be safe. Stay at home.