There are many questions on everybody’s mind having to do with the coronavirus. But maybe the biggest one is: How long will it last?
Depending on the source, the estimates are from between eight weeks to nine months. It also depends on the context of the question. If you just factor in the disease getting to its peak then flattening out, most predictions are optimistic. However, factor in the economic effects and the picture becomes murky.
From various scientific, medical, economic, and media sources, here are the scenarios that are most probable at this point:
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Best case— Four-week peak. At that point, after massive testing and containment procedures, the virus starts to level off. The economy starts to bounce back and most restrictions on gatherings are gone. Store shelves begin to recover and many go back to work. Yes, numbers will go up but that is because of more testing. Also according to LifeZette medical source Amy Johnston, RN, we should be looking at the curve in Italy; it seems to be about three weeks in front of us, and their curve has not flattened.
There is also an issue in testing, as tests are now limited to people who are symptomatic and who have recently traveled outside of the U.S. That could miss many. Even today, says Johnston, one person can infect 3-10 people. Also, 40% of those hospitalized right now are between 20-40 years old, a figure that should give concern. So even a best-case scenario contains these circumstances. The consensus seems to be the picture will clarify about every two weeks, with new data that can give a better picture of the ultimate timeline. In this model, 5,000 plus deaths from the virus.
Medium case— June. Tough restrictions in place until the summer. Medical professionals also, according to Johnston, have not only the virus but the flu season to worry about, exacerbated by thinned-out medical resources. Cabin fever starts to set in, as people, ignoring regulations, move from their homes to the outside, this possibly causing a new wave of infections. The economics are bad here. Unemployment past 10%. Massive business losses. Stagnation and recession. Food rationed, shelves still pretty bare. If we’re lucky, improvements are seen by September. Likely scenario: no uptick until the first of the year. 15,000-plus deaths from the virus.
Worst case— September. This is bad. Yes, the virus starts to flatten out by this point, on its way to a January low point and virtual end. There is probably a vaccine by now. But the medical aspects are far outweighed by the social and economic disruption. The election is thrown into chaos and maybe postponed. It could be neck and neck in the race between Biden and President Trump. Unemployment around 20%, if not more. Food produced and distributed by government. Shelves bare and hundreds of thousands of businesses gone. Riots over food distribution and industry bailouts, all sponsored by the hard-Left who see this as a chance to indirectly bring de facto socialism into the nation through government economic regulations. Death rate at 50,000-plus.
This is not cast in stone, but different scenarios based on models and analysis. It is very possible, for good and bad, the medium-term future will look far different than what is predicted here.