A year or so ago, we had some interesting posts by Grahame Woods which were “opinion” and not reporting of news, and this post is in that category – not a neutral reporting of facts but instead an opinion on when the pandemic will end. In following the news and participating in volunteer activities, I have come to some considered opinions about this new world we find ourselves in. I think the big unanswered question is – When will it end? No one can be sure of anything in the future let alone predicting the end of a pandemic but we don’t so much need to know when the pandemic will end, but instead when will we get back to “normal”? Listening to the PM, he has said it will be “weeks” before restrictions can be lifted but will things be “normal” then?
Conditions for lifting restrictions
Before there’s any change in the crisis, there needs to be an assurance that people will stop catching the new corona virus flu. This is limited with social distancing but that is not “normal”. One major problem is that social distancing is not possible with many activities where crowds or close proximity are inherent. These include any activity in a community centre, theatre, sports stadium, church, schools and to a lesser extent in parks and beaches. The only way such proximity can be allowed would be if we know that all, or at least most, people are immune – that is, have recovered from the disease or been vaccinated. But there are situations where social distancing is possible – stores, many small businesses, take-out food, deliveries. These situations are enhanced with face masks.
There are two time-frames:
- Before most people have been vaccinated or become immune by recovering
- After that time.
Before Vaccination – Some relaxing of restrictions might be as early as June 2020
- I predict that all stores will open and operate much like supermarkets now with a limited number in the store at a time and required to wear facemasks – the rationale is that it works for Supermarkets and food stores.
- Restaurants may open conditional on no more than 4-5 to a table with tables spaced wider than previously. Masks are not possible if you are eating but could be required until you sit down. The reasoning would be that otherwise these restaurants will close permanently.
- No theatres, community centres, churches or sports stadiums will operate since social distancing is impossible. No team sporting events. No parades. No house parties. Entertainment will have to be via the Internet and TV.
- Many workers will work from home
- Schools may open in late Fall if authorities believe children are less susceptible and non-vaccine treatments prove effective. The earliest possible open date would be September. That’s what the jungle drums are telling me.
- Parks may open for usual activities (other than team events) if authorities think people are disciplined enough to keep groups to 5 or less and practice social distancing – personally, I would not have such faith. I’d predict this would not be until the Fall.
After vaccination – when most people have immunity – possibly early 2021
- A return to “normal” with many people still wearing masks and practicing social distancing
- Many workers continue to work from home
- Theatres, churches and community centres re-start programs but have reduced attendance since people are still wary.
- Vaccination and/or a mass immunity is a pre-requisite for a return to normal.
The impact on the economy will be horrendous and will probably force businesses to open before we are all vaccinated – but economic consequences are even more difficult to predict.
Another issue getting a lot of attention is using smartphones to track contacts and whether a person is keeping their mandated quarantine. I can’t see that making a difference to the time line but it may help limit the number of cases.
I don’t know if you have noticed, but apart from Covid-19 news, there’s nothing much happening in the news “world” – that likely means there will be a longer gap between reports from Cobourg News Blog….
I haven’t covered every detail but you get the picture. I’d like someone to explain how we can get back to “normal” any quicker. As usual feel free to comment. If you have a long response, email it to me and I may post it as a follow-up “opinion” article.
Note about this article – 16 April 2020
Everyone should be aware that I get notified of 100% of the comments on this blog. You will probably also note that many of the comments on this particular article are way off topic and would normally be deleted. But since this is an unusual article with the label “Opinion”, as long as people refrain from libel or slander, then I will allow discussion to continue. Mild criticism of other commenters is permitted but don’t overdo it. It’s hard to draw the line but believe it or not, some comments that did overdo it have been deleted in the past. In general, strong criticism or disparagement of a person (real name or not) is not allowed – but criticism of an argument is allowed. E.g. calling someone a socialist is allowed – it simply implies a set of beliefs. Calling someone a liar is not allowed,
And although off topic is permitted on this particular post, that’s not generally the case