Self-isolated and quarantined in our homes due to the lockdown…not being allowed to step outside…working from home…having home-cooked meals…not being able to socialize - as comforting as this break from life sounded at first, has now taken a toll on the mental health of many. From children to adults, everyone has one question on their mind; when and how will this stubborn, life-taking and infectious virus end?
Before we get to tell about the possible outcomes of the coronavirus outbreak, let’s first recall what has happened until now. In the world, 1,867,129 cases and 115,278 deaths have been reported. In the UAE alone, there are a total of 4123 cases, 680 of which recovered and are now in good health and 23 of which have died. As terrible as it sounds, it’s much less than other countries. The lockdown has put the situation in control and the virus is not spreading in the country as rapidly as it was before.
Putting the corona situation in simpler words, the virus needs to be transmitted to live; either through human contact or through touching infected surfaces. If the individual has proper hygiene and keeps distance from an infected individual, then the chances of acquiring the virus are extremely low. When a person gets infected, either the body fights off the virus or the virus destroys the person’s health.
Now coming to the three outcomes that can occur in the near future, here’s what you can expect to happen:
1. We’ll have a vaccine
Right now there’s no cure, and we’re dependent on our immune system to demolish the germs. However, if a vaccine comes out, it will kill the virus and save thousands. The process of creating one is underway but according to Telegraph, the entire process can take 12-18 months. The scientists have skipped animal testing, for now, to speed things up. The biggest hurdle other than the predicted time is the large scale manufacturing of the vaccine. Moreover, if it will take this long, what will we do till then? Our best bet is to slow down the spread of the respiratory tract infection.
Recommended read: How to Boost Your Immune System to Battle the Coronavirus
2. We’ll let the virus continue its course
Probably the worst-case scenario, this entails that we sit back and do nothing whilst the virus continues to infect. Since we can’t be in lock-down for eternity, and to prevent economic, social and financial collapse, we’ll have to get back to our daily lives. In this case, the hospitals will be flooded and lots of deaths will take place. However, life will go on, uninterrupted. This has to be avoided at all costs.
3. We’ll take measures to further slowdown the virus
This is what half the world is currently doing; partial or complete lock-down. We are unable to cure the virus so we’re ‘delaying the infection spreading process’ as much as possible by restricting social interaction and locking ourselves in our houses. Even though it isn’t ideal but continuing to just go out and interact for important purposes can limit unnecessary contact and buy us time till we have a permanent solution in hand. Educational and work institutions are already working on this possibility and coming up with long-term virtual solutions for communication, task completion and transfer of knowledge. This 'slowdown' will also ensure that the pressure on the healthcare system is sustainable. A good example of this scenario is China who for two respective days had no cases because they made all possible efforts to retain the spread of the disease.
According to the Washington Post, until a vaccine is created, moderate to extensive distancing, our last mentioned point, is the way to go. Their graph proves that this will give us the most meaningful response. However, given the current situation, the stats can change anytime and we do not know anything for sure. As responsible citizens, we can practice cleanliness, self-quarantine, and hope for promising news in the future.
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