Public Health

When will life go back to normal?

Mira Research Team12 Nov 2020

When will life go back to normal?

 

Quick summary:

  • Infectious Disease Experts predict that will begin to see a somewhat normal way of life toward the last quarter of 2021.
  • Life as we knew it depends on when an effective vaccine is widely available and the strength of immunity people develop from COVID-19.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech recently announced their coronavirus vaccine was strongly effective and could be available by the end of 2020.
  • Coronavirus is likely not going away and will continue to spread at lower rates even after the pandemic has ended.
  • Countries such as China, New Zealand, and Taiwan have been able to see a somewhat normal way of life after sustaining a small number of COVID cases.

 

When will life be normal again?

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, we can predict that we will start to see a return to a somewhat normal way of life in the United States toward the end of 2021. 

Dr. Fauci strongly recommends that we all continue social distancing and wearing masks in daily life, as this is the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus before a vaccine is developed. If a reasonably effective vaccine is developed (75- 85% effective) the level of infection may be so low that by the third quarter end of 2021,  we can begin to consider going “back to normal”.

Dr. Fauci also strongly recommends that everyone becomes educated on the topic of vaccinations, as these are several vaccines that are currently in clinical trials. You can find more information on vaccine development from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or our article: when will coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine become available.


What factors affect when life will return to normal?

There are currently two main factors that directly affect when we will be able to “go back to normal”:

  1. The strength of the immunity that people develop after being exposed to COVID-19.
  2. The arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Experts say that it’s possible for individuals who were already exposed to COVID-19 have a reduced risk of becoming reinfected or developing a severe case of COVID-19. But as of now, it’s impossible to tell how long immunity lasts. Some health experts believe that potential immunity to COVID-19 may only last up to 3 months. 

In terms of the COVID-19 vaccine, the two candidates who are farthest along in their clinical trials are Moderna and Pfizer. It’s likely that a vaccine will make the coronavirus less dangerous by providing immunity to more individuals. However, it is highly important that the majority of the U.S. population is willing to take the vaccine in order to get the coronavirus pandemic under control.

 

Have other countries returned back to a normal way of life?

Although the novel coronavirus was first discovered in China, it seems China has returned to a normal way of life in many aspects. While the United States is further from reaching this point. 

New Zealand and Taiwan have also had very little cases within a span of time and were able to sustain these numbers as well. 

 

What will the future look like with coronavirus in 2021?

Leading into 2021, the future with coronavirus largely depends on the duration and strength of people’s immunity to the virus. For example, if immunity lasts a few months, we could experience another pandemic or continuous small outbreaks.  It’s currently unclear whether the coronavirus vaccine will provide short-term or long-term immunity to the virus.

In the meantime, there are ways to connect with family and friends while reducing your risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. Consider meeting people outdoors, with masks on, or in smaller groups than usual. Make sure that everyone you are coming into close contact with is feeling well and has not been in contact with people who are positive for COVID-19. 

 

Will coronavirus ever go away?

No, experts believe that coronavirus is not going away. Due to the extent to which the coronavirus has spread and how transmittable it is, it’s likely that the timeframe to contain this virus has passed. In addition, experts are now predicting that there may be a second or third wave of COVID-19 before it is under control. 

In order to end the pandemic and get coronavirus under control, we need to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity occurs when a high percentage of the population is immune to a virus. Immunity may either be able to occur from an infection of COVID-19 or receiving a vaccine.

However, even after the pandemic is over, the virus will likely continue to spread at lower rates. Experts are predicting that there will be a rise in cases during the colder months.


Will coronavirus get worse during flu season?

Health care experts are currently concerned about a spike in COVID-19 cases during the 2020-2021 flu season. Respiratory viruses, including the flu, spread more easily in the winter months. This is partially due to spending more time indoors and less absorption of vitamin D, which boosts our immune systems.

In addition, the spread of COVID-19, the flu, and the common cold this fall and winter may make it difficult to differentiate between the three illnesses. Therefore, it is important to continue to wear cloth face coverings or surgical face masks this winter. Make sure that your face mask covers both your nose and mouth at all times. It is also highly recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months gets a flu shot by the end of October 2021

Check out our list of locations to get a free flu shot in NYC. In addition, a membership with Mira can get you a flu shot and access to other medical services. 


How long will we have to wear face masks? 

During a 60 Minutes broadcast from October 18th, Dr. Fauci explained when we may be able to ease up on mask-wearing. Fauci explained that if we get a vaccine that is about 70% effective by early 2021, by the end of 2021 we should be able to be less strict about wearing a mask or cloth face covering. 

However, we will not be able to completely stop wearing masks at the end of next year. Especially in large indoor spaces, mask-wearing will continue to be an important part of mitigating the spread of the virus even after the end of 2021. 

If you decide to make your own mask, see the graphic below for the best materials to use. 

Source: https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/the-best-mask-material-according-to-scientists

 

Sources: 

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/fauci-and-other-experts-debate-when-our-covid-19-lives-will-return-to-normal#5

https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2020/08/06/coronavirus-future#:~:text=As%20new%20coronavirus%20cases%20continue,global%20pandemic%2C%20either.

https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2020/08/14/covid-future

https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/1030_masks_COVID_19.png

https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/the-best-mask-material-according-to-scientists

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