How long will social distancing last?

Social distancing measures have been implemented across all 50 states and a multitude of other countries that are currently affected by the rise in Covid-19 cases. This tactic is incredibly important to reduce the amount of cases that develop across the globe since there is no known vaccine available for use yet. To give some perspective on how this is predicted to play out if social distancing is followed, the IHME, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, has created a model to predict the number of deaths per day, the total deaths, and the number of resources needed as well as the shortages that may come about in the United States.

When wondering how long social distancing will last, it must not be confused with quarantine and self-isolation. The latter two have a short-term two-week span for staying away from the public for either having been exposed to the virus or having contracted the virus. Social distancing, rather, is a long-term strategy for everyone to abide by where one keeps distance from others and only goes out when necessary. Participating in this strategy has been shown to reduce the rapid spread of Covid-19.

The problem with letting up on these strict social distancing rules is that if the virus isn’t completely gone, then new cases may reappear and create a similar condition that the world is facing currently; another rapid spread of infection. Without a vaccine, there is no definite time span that can be said for lifting social distancing measures. However, the IHME has stated that the first wave of the epidemic could end by early June, but again, the virus could potentially come back and infect people in a second wave. This possibility is dependent on how the US and other countries around the world put efforts in for avoiding reintroducing Covid-19 into the population.

 

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