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Harvard research points out that physical distancing could be around until 2022 – 2024

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Harvard research points out that physical distancing will be around for a lot longer even based on an antidote.

It is urgent to understand the future of severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. We used estimates of seasonality, immunity, and cross-immunity for betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1 from time series data from the USA to inform a model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We projected that recurrent wintertime outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 will probably occur after the initial, most severe pandemic wave. Absent other interventions, a key metric for the success of social distancing is whether critical care capacities are exceeded. To avoid this, prolonged or intermittent social distancing may be necessary into 2022. Additional interventions, including expanded critical care capacity and an effective therapeutic, would improve the success of intermittent distancing and hasten the acquisition of herd immunity. Longitudinal serological studies are urgently needed to determine the extent and duration of immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Even in the event of apparent elimination, SARS-CoV-2 surveillance should be maintained since a resurgence in contagion could be possible as late as 2024

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/14/science.abb5793/tab-pdf

Covid-19 Exit Strategy

I think the key point is that flattening the curve should not be confused with eliminating the tail of the curve.

The Harvard model takes into account:

  • the impact of the tail of the curve
  • the impact of multiple covid waves, which could be this iteration or future mutations

The paper considers a host of issues which is not something I can evaluate here. This observation is typical:

Highly-effective distancing could reduce SARS-CoV-2 incidence enough to make a strategy based on contact tracing and quarantine feasible, as in South Korea and Singapore. Less effective one-time distancing efforts may result in a prolonged single-peak epidemic, with the extent of strain on the healthcare system and the required duration of distancing depending on the effectiveness

PS
The reference to SARS-CoV-2 is covid-19 or coronavirus.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 14, 2020 at 17:15

Posted in Uncategorized

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