If states fully reopen and people do not practice any social distancing, things could get dire fast. In that scenario, the Pennsylvania model projects nearly one million deaths by the end of June.
The United States is now two months into the coronavirus pandemic, a once-in-a-century public health crisis that has caused a once-in-a-century economic crisis. As the severity of the coronavirus outbreak became clear in March, the nation implemented once unthought-of restrictions on businesses and public gatherings and more than 40 states enacted stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders to compel residents to stay at home.
In recent weeks, though, an antsy public has begun to wonder: When will the country reopen?
The answer, unfortunately, is more complicated than a firm day and time. The United States won’t reopen on Wednesday at 3 PM, but instead in phases that vary from state to state, and sometimes, city to city.
Some states have already lifted their stay-at-home orders, while many others have loosened restrictions on businesses. For the answer that applies to you, check out your state department of health. A directory of all 50 state health department websites can be found here.
The timing of the country’s reopening isn’t the only question on Americans’ minds. Here are answers to three other frequently asked questions:
When Will The Coronavirus Be Over?
Unfortunately, a scientific consensus is growing that the coronavirus will be with us for quite a while and that one round of social distancing, as we’ve done, won’t be enough to fight the virus.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has warned that there will be a second wave of the virus this fall, calling it “inevitable.” The first wave, of course, is ongoing, and a new report from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota warns that the virus likely won’t be contained for two years.
“Exactly how long remains to be seen,” Marc Lipsitch, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health who co-authored the CIDRAP report, told the New York Times. “It’s going to be a matter of managing it over months to a couple of years. It’s not a matter of getting past the peak, as some people seem to believe.”
Lipsitch also co-wrote another analysis in “Science,” a research journal, projecting a range of possibilities for how the pandemic might play out in the coming months. All of them suggested