The question on everyone’s minds is: when will the coronavirus pandemic be over? Unfortunately, no one yet knows. It seems ages ago when we were able to do grocery shopping without facemasks, hand sanitizing, or social distancing. But, that’s the new norm, and most folks are pretty darn fed up with it. After all, there’s only so much you can do to keep the kids occupied during an indefinite lockdown.
Of course, it’s not just the inconvenience of the Covid19 pandemic that’s a bummer. Millions have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, lost loved ones, and basically been going through a living nightmare in March and April. So, for all of us, the end of the coronavirus pandemic can’t come quick enough.
One thing’s for sure, despite the dark days we’re living in, the pandemic will end — they all do eventually. What’s not so certain just now is exactly when the Covid19 pandemic will be over. Many scientists say that some aspects of life after the disease has gone might change for good.
What can we expect in the future? What will life be like in 2021, AC — After Coronavirus? This article looks at the possible changes we can expect when some normality finally returns.
Stopping the Spread of Covid19
Since the coronavirus engulfed most of the world, governments have taken drastic measures to halt its spread. We’ve got new everyday words that we use — lockdown, shelter-in-place, stay-at-home orders, self-isolation, PPE, and social distancing. These are all ways to help end the pandemic faster and keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed with Covid19 patients.
To help stop the spread of the virus, many states require that anyone venturing outdoors must wear a face mask. Schools have been shut down, parks closed, and, unfortunately, many businesses have gone to the wall.
In April 2020, news agencies reported that unemployment hit record highs with 22 million people out of work. It’s estimated that by the end of April, 15% of the population will be unemployed. To cushion the financial blows, the government extended unemployment benefits. Also, most Americans will receive a Covid19 stimulus check for $1,200, and some get extended paid leave under the Families First Act.
When Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Be Over?
Most scientists agree that the Covid19 pandemic will only end globally when a vaccine is developed. It’s estimated that a vaccine will take between 12 and 18 months to develop. Immunization will protect you from catching the nasty virus or passing it to others. If you’ve had Covid19, you have antibodies and may have natural immunity against the virus. That’s why governments are beginning testing for coronavirus antibodies.
Until a vaccine is developed, governments will start easing restrictions as the spread slows down. Or, to use a new phrase — when the curve starts to flatten. So, the pandemic may only truly and completely be over toward the end of 2021.
In the past, pandemics tended to last between one year and three years.
How Long Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Last?
This is the question everyone on the planet wants the answer to. We should expect that some semblance of “normality” returns within a few months. As more coronavirus testing is carried out and health agencies can track the virus, restrictions can be lifted.
On April 16, 2020, President Trump announced a three-phase plan to restart the economy and get things moving. The plan consists of these steps:
- Phase one — Groups of more than ten people are to be avoided, non-essential travel minimized, and people should continue working from home. Schools will stay closed, but some public venues can be opened if strict social distancing is enforced.
- Phase two — Groups of up to 50 persons are allowed, schools can open, and non-essential travel is allowed.
- Phase three — A return to normality. Offices can be staffed as normal, and large venues can open with limited social distancing protocols. However, there will be greater emphasis on stricter hygiene.
So, we could see an easing up of social distancing, restaurants and bars may open — but have fewer tables. And non-essential businesses could open. These are non-binding guidelines and will be left up to the discretion of state governors to implement. But most of the phases two and three operate under the assumption that widespread testing and PPE for essential workers are available.
The Importance of Testing to Curb the Covid19 Pandemic
One way the coronavirus pandemic could end faster is when mass testing gets underway. At present, only those in the front line can get tested for the disease and to see if they have antibodies. There are two ways testing can help end the spread of the virus quicker:
- Testing for the Covid19 virus — Knowing if a person has the virus or not can help identify others who are at risk. Also, if someone tests negative, they can go back to work sooner.
- Testing for coronavirus antibodies — When it’s clear that a large proportion of the population has had Covid19, lockdowns are less necessary since many will have antibodies and be immune from the disease.
Life After the Coronavirus Pandemic is Over
Of course, we’re all desperate for things to get back to normal, and for this nasty disease to end. However, it may take a year or more until that happens. And, it will probably take a vaccine to ensure that Covid19 never causes worldwide chaos again. So, what will life be like over the next few months? Here are a few scenarios we could expect.
When schools reopen, class sizes may be greatly reduced, and lunchtimes staggered. The same may be true for office workers. However, many businesses may allow more employees to work from home permanently.
More and more states will enforce orders for citizens to wear face masks in public.
Air travel will slowly take off again. However, social distancing at airports may cause long lines at security and check-in. Also, some airlines are talking about keeping middle seats empty to keep some social distance — but that may result in increased airfares.
Mandatory testing for Covid19 might be necessary for everyone until a vaccine is developed. Travel restrictions could be imposed on some people. For example, you may need documents proving you’ve been tested for coronavirus antibodies. Or, you might need proof you’ve been immunized. Two weeks’ quarantine could be compulsory after returning from overseas.
What about large mass events — concerts, football, soccer, or other sporting events? Likely, large public events will only be possible when a vaccine is found, and it’s declared that coronavirus is finally over.
The End of Coronavirus
Until the coronavirus pandemic is over, it’s important to follow strict hygiene practices, keep your distance, and stay at home. In time, life will get back to normal. You never know, maybe some of the changes in our lives will be for the better? Let’s hope.