With some of the restrictions being pulled back as the economy slowly begins to open back up, it’s important that getting back to life, as usual, is a gradual process. To keep appropriate expectations of what we can expect, we must first put in front of us and acknowledge these 3 scientific, immutable facts about what we’re up against here looking towards the future.
- Staying Home Saves Lives, But It Doesn’t Kill The Virus: These precautions slowed the spread of COVID-19, thus helping to “flatten the curve.” Doing so buys hospitals and critical care centers enough time to staff up and stock diagnostic tests, protective gear, and ventilators. However, it’s imperative that Americans understand these measures do not eliminate the virus. By staying home (and six feet apart from each other), we did not (and cannot) outlast our opponent.
- We’re In This For The Long-Haul: The coronavirus will persist until there is either (a) a safe vaccine (still 12 to 18 months away) or (b) until there is “herd immunity,” whereby two-thirds of the nation (about 200 million people) must become infected, recover and develop the appropriate antibodies. This, too, will take at least a year.
- Pay Attention To The R (Naught) Metric: This is a number that indicates the contagiousness of an infectious disease like COVID-19. Specifically, it tells us the average number of unvaccinated (or otherwise vulnerable) people who will contract a disease from one contagious individual. If we want to better understand the relative safety and preparedness of local and regional “reopening” plans, we must base our decisions on this important number.
If you’d like to read the complete article that we referenced from Forbes Magazine, you can click here!