Various measures are being taken to stop the spread of CoVID-19 in many countries around the world. They range from a ban on mass events, the closure of entertainment centers, bars and restaurants, to the closure of schools, and in some places even complete self-isolation - when people are forced to stay at home for a long time. The situation is aggravated by a sense of uncertainty - today no one knows when the pandemic will end and what long-term consequences it may have. To predict further developments, scientists from Harvard University conducted a study, the results of which state that in 2020, social distancing measures may be applied in some countries of the world as needed. However, this will not happen if a vaccine or effective drug is invented to treat CoVID-19. So how long are we going to stay at home?
How to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic?
Social distancing is a set of sanitary and epidemiological actions aimed at slowing or stopping the spread of a contagious disease.
While self-isolation is a form of social distancing, there is an important difference between the two. Self-isolation and quarantine aims to prevent transmission of the virus to people who are infected or known to have been in contact with infected people. And social distancing is a broader measure to stop the disease from spreading. And we may have to keep our distance from others for a while. The fact is that at the moment, scientists do not know about the timing of the production of a safe and effective vaccine, or whether the new drug will work to eliminate CoVID-19.
Quarantine is a set of anti-epidemic regime measures aimed at limiting contacts between people or infected animals, goods, vehicles, territory, area, etc.
The greatest concern of epidemiologists around the world is the fact that social distancing can contain the peak of the spread of coronavirus until the end of the year, but then a second wave may follow, as was the case during the Spanish flu pandemic. For other important lessons to be learned from the 1918 pandemic, see Daria Eletskaya's article. But why has social distancing become such an important strategy in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic?
It is believed that every person infected with CoVID-19 can infect an average of 2-3 people in the early stages of an outbreak. This infectiousness is measured by epidemiologists using the so-called “infectivity ratio” R0. For comparison, the R0 of influenza virus, depending on the strain, varies from 1.06 to 3.44. According to the BBC Future, according to another study, the R0 of the Spanish flu is approximately 1. 8. And the R0 of rhinovirus, which causes the common cold, equals 1, 2 - 1, 83. According to most estimates of the spread of SARS-CoV-2, R0 ranges from 1, 4 to 3, 9.
Showing love and caring today is keeping your distance from each other.
The incubation period - the time between infection and the onset of symptoms - is about five days, although studies in China have shown that symptoms can take up to 14 days or more for symptoms to appear. If you are infected and lead a normal life, you will most likely pass the virus on to two or three friends or family members, who can then infect another 2-3 people. So within one month, one case of CoVID-19 infection can lead to 244 others. And after two months, this figure will soar to 59 604. It was found that the time between infection with CoVID-19 and the onset of symptoms is on average about five days.
Hi-News.ru founder Mikhail Korolev shared his comment on self-isolation:
We have been sitting at home for 2 weeks already, in Italy they have been sitting for more than 20 days. In both countries, the statistics of new diseases clearly entered the FLAT stage, when the number of daily new cases does not increase or decrease, but remains at the same level.
Doctors and analysts unanimously say that this is the peak of the incidence rate and further decline will go, they predict the beginning of the decline on April 2-3. We officially have quarantine until April 12th, apparently with a margin.
My opinion as an outsider coincides with the opinion of doctors, I do not believe in God, but I will thank God that everyone here sat at home 14 days ago and did not get out, everything is closed, they order food home (food), there are no cars on the streets, there is no transport walks, people on the street do not meet and if there is, they wear masks and gloves.
The police fine idiots who want to take a walk or have a party, a fine of up to 30,000 euros. It is logical that there are almost no such idiots.
Hence the conclusion that there will be no further growth, there will be a sharp decline, but further…. what's next? Will the quarantine be lifted and again on a new one, or will they be able to endure and stay at home for another week? They will introduce measures like in China or South Korea, when all people are checked on the streets, it is imperative to wear masks and gloves. And most importantly, everyone is monitored over the cellular network.
Why is social distancing effective?
However, the virus can also spread from infected people who do not show symptoms. Thus, the results of another study showed that asymptomatic transmission of the virus can occur in 10% of cases. Experts estimate that 1% to 3% of people infected with the new coronavirus will not develop symptoms. And if such people knew about their diagnosis and followed the rules of social distancing, they would prevent the spread of CoVID-19.
One of the main goals of social distancing is to delay the spread of the virus so that people get sick more slowly. The idea is to lengthen the time it takes for the virus to pass through the population, and to push back the peak of incidence to a later time. But what happens in real life?
Brave new world!
While different countries are taking different approaches to contain the coronavirus, scientists at Imperial College London have published the results of computer simulations, according to which, after the lifting of quarantine measures, a second wave of CoVID-19 is almost inevitable.
This means that in the most optimistic course of events - namely, the development and mass production of a vaccine within 12-18 months, you and I will have to observe the method of social distancing in one form or another. I understand that this is not the happiest news, but the main thing is that in the current environment we can contain the spread of CoVID-19 and reduce the burden on the healthcare system. This will help save many lives. Let's not forget that someday the pandemic will end and we will do our best to achieve this.