Covid-19 Conversations: When Will Life Return to Normal?

It is understandable that everyone is FED UP with the Coronavirus and most of us want to go back to life as it was before. 

When will that happen?

To understand the implications of the Question we need to understand the nature of the pandemic.

This is a viral infection that spreads from human to human by aerosol droplets/ cough/ touch.

It is highly contagious – at the start of the Epidemic it has a Ro (R nought) of about 3 – that is each person will roughly transmit the infection to 3 others. This is how the infection spreads across the area/ community.

It is more fatal than the usual Flu Virus- causing as much as or more than 10 times the fatalities.

It shows no signs of abating in the hot summer months- so unlike the usual winter viruses, this one is here to stay.

Humans have no known or previous Immunity against the virus.

New Immunity will have to be acquired. This will happen in one of three ways:

1. Getting infected with the virus- though we are not sure how strong an immunity this would be and for how long.

2. Getting vaccinated – a safe, reliable vaccine can provide immunity against the virus- none is as yet available- it may take another year or so, or maybe much longer.

3. Herd Immunity- it is seen then once about 70 percent of the population in an area gets infected the community acquires a ‘herd immunity’; since the virus stops infecting new persons. It is seen that even in densely populated areas that became ‘containment’ areas of the infection, not more than 20 % of the population were infected. So we are very far from herd immunity.

So that leaves us with the following very clear alternatives:

1. Stay away from humans – 2 meters

2. Go out only if you have to

3. Wash hands frequently with soap and water

4. Sanitize hands with a minimum of 70 % alcohol sanitizers. 

5. Use a mask at all times when outdoor. Use a mask indoor if there is a visitor from outside- some repair person or a domestic, or if there is a Covid-19 patient inside the house undergoing home isolation.

6. Use a face Shield when outdoor especially in areas like use of public transport, counter staff, transportation crew, security guards, police persons, etc.

7. Wear disposable gloves when you go out to buy groceries etc. Discard the gloves when you come home.

Oh Yes – and answering your question- I think it will be at least another year before things can start going back to normal – the way it was. Until then, stay safe, stay strong!

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