Everyone is no doubt thinking about how long these social distancing measures and lockdown rules will stay in place. Well, some researchers have revealed how long they are expected to last for - you might not like the answer.
A team of researchers and scientists from the University of Notre Dame have conducted a study on what would happen if social distancing guidelines and lockdown measures were eased. What they found was that the data indicated a massive resurgence of COVID-19 cases if lockdown measures and social distancing guidelines were reduced. Ultimately, the researchers found that both social distancing guidelines, and lockdown measures would need to stay in place at a high level until the Summer to lower viral transmission and ultimately save lives.
According to Alex Perkins, Eck Family Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, an expert in infectious disease epidemiology and population biology and the lead of the study, "Our results indicate that control measures that are in place right now may need to be maintained at a fairly high level until the Summer if we want to lower transmission. At that point, we may be able to dial back those protective measures somewhat, but we will not be able to relax them completely until we have a vaccine."
Until we have a created a vaccine, and it's being distributed out to the public, social distancing guidelines and lockdown measures will generally stay in place. There will be small changes here and there depending on your location and the severity of the outbreak in your area, but overall things will remain this way for quite some time until COVID-19 is under control.
Perkins adds, "The major takeaway is what we do in the short term has a big impact on what happens in the long term. If we keep social distancing measures in place through the short term, and reduce transmission, we'll have greater flexibility and more options for relaxing them later. If we get into a situation where things are twice as bad as they are now, it'll require a full-scale effort of lockdowns and tighter social distancing measures to get transmission levels down and prevent a catastrophe."
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