COVID-19 might be with us for a while

Pandemic

Yet more criticism has emerged of the models used by the White House and others to project a “flattening of the curve.” The problem here is essentially that, short of a vaccinated or otherwise immune population, the moment you lift the lockdown, the virus is free to spread again.[1] This is consistent with what Joe Pinsker wrote in the Atlantic earlier: Things can return to normal “when enough of the population—possibly 60 or 80 percent of people—is resistant to COVID-19 to stifle the disease’s spread from person to person.”[2] There are a couple ways this can happen: One is that a vaccine is developed—this is unlikely before next spring.[3] Another is that enough folks catch the disease, some asymptomatically, and either recover, hopefully but not certainly gaining immunity, or die. Other folks might—this is unknown—have a natural immunity. And because testing has been so haphazard, we flatly do not know how many people fall into the asymptomatic or immune categories.[4] Either way, it basically amounts to the disease stopping when it runs out of people to infect.

Teghan Simonton, “Pittsburgh professors see flaws in coronavirus modeling, predict more grim outlook,” TribLive, April 3, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/pittsburgh-professors-see-flaws-in-coronavirus-modeling-predict-more-grim-outlook/


  1. [1]Teghan Simonton, “Pittsburgh professors see flaws in coronavirus modeling, predict more grim outlook,” TribLive, April 3, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/pittsburgh-professors-see-flaws-in-coronavirus-modeling-predict-more-grim-outlook/
  2. [2]Joe Pinsker, “The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal,” Atlantic, March 30, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-social-distancing-over-back-to-normal/608752/
  3. [3]Joe Pinsker, “The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal,” Atlantic, March 30, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-social-distancing-over-back-to-normal/608752/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “When ‘good’ news might not be so good,” Not Housebroken, April 4, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/02/when-good-news-might-not-be-so-good/; Joe Pinsker, “The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal,” Atlantic, March 30, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-social-distancing-over-back-to-normal/608752/; Teghan Simonton, “Pittsburgh professors see flaws in coronavirus modeling, predict more grim outlook,” TribLive, April 3, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/pittsburgh-professors-see-flaws-in-coronavirus-modeling-predict-more-grim-outlook/

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