With coronavirus cases on the rise despite restrictions imposed on much of the United States, the question that is on everyone's mind is when will normality return to the country.
Although the desire is that it be as soon as possible, the reality is that the social distancing could last for several more months, according to experts. The United States currently leads the COVID-19 case statistic with more than 180,000 patients and more than 3,600 deaths.
"Realistically, I think it will last until summer in some areas," Dr. Robert Norton, a professor of public health at Alabama's Auburn University and a member of several special groups to combat the virus, told People. "There will be some places where it is still circulating, so it will never really go away."
He also believes the virus will become a seasonal disease, like the flu, so it could return in the fall. But by then he hopes enough immunity has developed to prevent an outbreak as serious as the current one.
Norton explained that it is "possible" that a percentage of those who have already contracted the disease may suffer from it again at risk of having it again after a while. But he hopes that enough of them are immune to the virus to prevent a spread like the current one.
"We don't know the percentage of people who will remain susceptible [to the virus]. Currently, about 80 to 85 percent of people have not had to be hospitalized, "she explained. "Of that 80 to 85 percent of people, if they get an infection, they will be more resistant. That doesn't mean they are completely resistant [to the virus], because we really don't know what the reaction will be.”
Norton recommended that even if a 14-day quarantine as recommended has been maintained, it is best not to have contact with family and friends until you know for sure that they do not have the virus.
"People can have very mild symptoms and not realize they are really infected," he said. "A simple trip to the market can infect a person and, without knowing it, can infect a friend and her family if they visit them."
Likewise, he asked to stay home even if you have recovered from the virus until the doctor discharges you completely.
"It is best to stay home," Norton recommended. "With so many questions about COVID-19 in the air, such as whether people have immunity or if they can be contagious after recovering, the safest option is to continue social distancing."
For more information on the coronavirus and the rules of social distancing to follow, visit
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