04.15.2020

Some Social Distancing Required Into 2022

Some Social Distancing Required Into 2022 Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

For those anticipating a swift end to social distancing — or at least a substantial reprieve from isolation at some point this year — a modeling study published by researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health published Tuesday in Science comes as a potential blow a month and a day after President Trump first announced the measures.For those anticipating a swift end to social distancing — or at least a substantial reprieve from isolation at some point this year — a modeling study published by researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health published Tuesday in Science comes as a potential blow a month and a day after President Trump first announced the measures.

“Intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or vaccine becomes available,” the researchers wrote. The Harvard team determined the lengthy timeline based on estimates of “seasonality, immunity, and cross immunity” for two prior betacoronaviruses and project that “recurrent wintertime outbreaks of [COVID-19] will probably occur after the initial, most severe pandemic wave.”

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