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    • I started wondering about this and realized I have been focused on the current issues, but haven’t thought much about what will come next.

      The orders for social distancing are not to get rid of the disease. They are only for reducing the demands on our healthcare system and spreading the demand across more time. So basically, we are trying to effectively reduce the spike of illness and stagger smaller waves of illness across a longer time period. But that may not reduce the total number of people who catch the virus - it just means they may be in a second, third, or fourth wave of patients as they eventually get infected, right? The only thing that *might* reduce the actual threat of getting the disease is if someone somewhere develops a vaccine. And even vaccines aren’t necessarily a guarantee against infection. (Witness the flu vaccine - we’re admonished to get one that may be slightly different every year.)

      Do we know if this novel coronavirus is a seasonal concern (like the flu), or a constant concern (year-round), or if it will be one of those diseases that infects only once or twice in one’s life (like chicken pox - shingles)? Maybe we don’t know this yet...

      Even if we get through this cultural period of self-isolation or self-quarantine, won’t we still be at risk of getting - or worse, unknowingly carrying - the virus in years to come?

      Maybe @Pathfinder can enlighten me...

      (Am I never going to be able to visit and hug my 84yo Mom again?)

    • And even when a vaccine is developed and tested how long will it take to have enough vaccine for everyone? Look at the mess with the lack of availability of Shingrix.

    • I too am obsessed with this. The Netflix series Pandemic and Bill Gates' speeches (not to mention every other infectious disease experts speeches), make you realize how modern animal agriculture combined with population density makes it so this will happen again and again even if we get this one under control.

      As Dr. Fauci said:

      It boggles my mind how when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we don’t just shut it down. I don’t know what else has to happen to get us to appreciate that.

      But I think your question was about this disease and the scary thing is, far as I can tell, we don't know the answers to your questions. We assume based on previous coronaviruses that you get immunity, at least for a few years, after surviving it. And that it's seasonal.

      And how do you get it under control in poor cities with high population densities? When will it be safe to travel to Nairobi?

    • Am I never going to be able to visit and hug my 84yo Mom again?

      Assume that each wave will infect fewer people and be localized to specific regions, i.e. a new outbreak in Arizona causes the states surrounding it to close their borders for a month.

      Assume that testing will become this 👇 readily available and convenient.

      Assume the test will improve in sensitivity and specificity. (H/t to @JazliAziz)

      Assume that PPE will be more readily available for home use, for visiting a sick or at risk relative.

      Assume that there will be sufficient ventilators to meet the needs of later waves.

      All of the above are reasonable expectations to happen within the next year. Meaning that even if there isn’t a vaccine, it will still be safer a year from now to visit a loved one.


    • In Malaysia our current Movement Control Order is scheduled to go on until the 14th of April. On the 10th our Ministry of Health will decide if it needs to be extended or if the situation has improved enough to be able to lift the MCO. But regardless of that decision on the 10th, Malaysia could possibly impose a ban on all mass gatherings until the end of the year even if the MCO is lifted. This will be a huge decision with Ramadhan and Eidul Fitri coming up.

      We should be positive, but I think we should also expect that things might not be exactly the same for the rest of the year.

    • Very interesting article - thanks for posting.

      Unfortunately, I have zero confidence that the current administration will ever think creatively about the future and how it could be made better after the virus. 🙁

    • It makes sense, I've thought about this before regarding the way states in the US aren't aligning their timing of decisions to shelter in place. With the absence of a vaccine the most effective thing would be to have globally synchronized isolation long enough to ensure it's not spreading anymore. But that isn't really feasible.

    • I have wondered about this too. So we all (more or less) stay where we are now (some more, some less) and then the curve flattens so we have enough medical care. Then summer comes, and fall and everyone goes back to school and work and we all start seeing each other again and then what?

      What can break the cycle in the short term, as well as the longer term (which I presume is a vaccine) ?

    • I posted this in the big thread and I'm not sure yet what to make of it, but this epidemiologist, past chair of the department at Rockefeller U for 20 years, thinks social isolation the way we're doing it just prolongs the problem without really curing it. He thinks the right way is to isolate the vulnerable but let the kids and young workers get the disease as they would any other flu to get it over with in a month.

      Edit: I guess what I think deep down is he's an angry nutcase. We sorta did what he's saying in the U.S. until we woke up to how serious the disease is. Countries that got on it right way with testing, contact tracing, and quarantining did better.

    • I bet this guy has no idea why people think Monty Python is hilarious.

      The UK started off with a herd immunity policy for Covid-19, but people got so upset that the govt had to switch policies mid-stream.