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A warning is coming from Harvard scientists about life after the lockdown. It may be possible for the coronavirus to return.

Harvard disease researchers were talking about their findings this week associated with the coronavirus and the news is not good. Most of us are already getting tired of social distancing but they are saying that the world may need to continue with social distancing on and off for years, perhaps even into 2022. The talks are already underway in many areas about lifting restrictions from the current lockdown and people are thrilled about the possibility of getting back to life again. Doing so could be a serious mistake. Our social distancing guidelines could be the new norm for quite some time.

According to the Harvard groups research, we know very little about the coronavirus and how it affects populations. As an example, we don’t even know for sure if having the virus gives immunity from contracting the virus again and if it does, how long the immunity lasts. We don’t know when the lasting health effects from COVID-19 may show up, perhaps even years into the future. Without widespread antibody testing and virus testing, we have no idea how many people have already been affected.

Photo: Pixabay/AhmadArdity

Computer models were used by the Harvard scientists to show how the pandemic might continue to run its course. One option is that social distancing is held in strict measures by the entire world, allowing epidemiologists and scientists to trace outbreaks of the virus until it is eradicated. When you think about the fact that some states in the United States are still not issuing stay-at-home orders, it is unlikely that worldwide cooperation will occur.

We are really left with only a few possibilities according to the Harvard team. Practice social distancing for 20 weeks, and the models show the epidemic will peak in a similar manner as if we had taken no measures at all. In other words, if we want to save lives from the coronavirus, we need to practice social distancing for a minimum of five months and likely much longer.

The Harvard team has reported that more than likely, on and off social distancing may be necessary for years to allow people to be exposed to the virus. At the same time, the numbers will be kept low enough to allow healthcare systems to effectively treat those who get sick. It will allow us to build up the community among all of humanity to COVID-19, at least until a vaccine comes along.

Interestingly, the scientists at Harvard don’t recommend one path or another. We already see how the coronavirus can overwhelm a community and its hospital systems quickly. Social distancing or on and off social distancing may just be the new norm that will be around until we have a real solution.