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Researchers Say Social Distancing May Need to Continue through 2022

In a new study published in the journal Science, epidemiologists from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health say that in the absence of a vaccine or effective treatment, social distancing until 2022 could be necessary to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study, published Tuesday, says that intermittent social distancing may be necessary to control the spread of the virus for the next several years.

The researchers say that it is critical to figure out if SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be wiped out after this initial pandemic like the SARS outbreak of 2003.

Otherwise, it is likely that SARS-CoV-2  will re-emerge every winter like other, more common coronaviruses.

There are still many things we don’t understand about SARS-CoV-2, like immunity; if immunity to the virus isn’t permanent, it is more likely to become an illness that regularly circulates through the population like the flu.

Some countries, like Japan, have already seen a second wave of cases after relaxing social distancing guidelines. 

Read full article here – https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/04/14/science.abb5793

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