When will the Coronavirus pandemic and social distancing end?

No one knows for sure, but it is probably staying around for a while. For the U.S. at least, it would most likely take herd immunity to end the pandemic. What is herd immunity? It is when enough people get a virus a the population as a whole becomes immune to it. To achieve this, around two-thirds of the population would have to get infected in order for their bodies to become immune to the disease and for the population as a whole to be able to fight the virus naturally. Worldwide, that would mean 2.5 billion up to 5 billion people. When a new virus emerges, no person is immune to it. A highly contagious virus like the Covid-19 spreads like wildfire, which can cause a lot of deaths very rapidly in a very short amount of time. Even though this is true, once enough people get transmitted the virus and become immune, the virus will begin to be as mortal as it is now. 

Letting the virus continue its natural course through the human population would be the fastest way to end this pandemic. It would take 3 months for a country to reach its peak of infected cases. Even if this is true, is this morally correct or even fair to the elderly population? Going along with this strategy would lead to the death of 2 million Americans and 80% percent of the population in the U.S. alone would get infected. Hospitals would be overflowing with patients. No healthcare system would be able to take that much of an influx of patients in one go. Doctors and specialists would have to choose one life over another like it is happening right now in other countries like Spain. The medical staff would have to choose the person that is more likely to survive (which in this case would be the younger person). 

There are other strategies to deal with this pandemic, which is flattening the exporting curve and lessening the strain of hospitals. This strategy has been used in many Latin American countries that have seen how the situation has evolved in Western Europe. This strategy consists of managing the transmission of the virus by treating the relatively small number of cases and preventing others from getting the virus. This would mean almost no social interaction with society. Schools would close, as well as businesses, workplaces, large public events would be canceled and people would have to stay home. Social distancing would reduce deaths but delay the herd of immunity which puts the U.S. at risk of another wave of the epidemic. 

Social distancing would have to last at least 1 to 3 months. This would slow down the transmitting of the virus but once the restrictions of this social distancing are lifted it is very probable that the virus will rise again since the population hasn’t developed an immunity. It would be ideal for scientists to synthesize a vaccine while the virus is being contained, but it is very unlikely. All we can do now is wait for a vaccine or herd immunity (meaning millions of deaths).

Camila Pedroza

My name is Camila Pedroza. I am a senior who loves her senior class. I am from Peru. My favorite food is pesto. A word that would describe me would be lowkey.

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