How long will the Coronavirus lockdown last?
Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has infected more than one million people and killed at least 60,000, since first being reported in China on the 31st of December, 2019.
For most of the world, this is a tragedy of a new kind: a highly contagious virus that is now putting the global economy and society into full or partial lockdown. The question on everyone’s mind now is: How long will the Coronavirus lockdown last?
1. What is the fatality rate of COVID-19?
While it is very difficult, if not impossible, to define a fatality rate for COVID-19, it is clearly much more dangerous and fatal than older infectious diseases such as the flu.
Without a vaccine in existence for now, initial studies suggest that the fatality rate lies anywhere between 0.1%, for younger people, to an alarming 15-20% for people aged over eighty.
The mortality rate per country significantly differs too. Germany, for example, has reported a far lower mortality rate than neighbouring countries due to factors such as:
- Its widespread testing measures, which differ to that of other countries, that only test people if they have obvious symptoms.
- It should also be noted that Germany had more time to prepare for Coronavirus, as it wasn’t hit first, like China and Italy.
- Germany also had younger victims and a lower infection growth rate than Italy, allowing the country to put victims of the virus into its best hospitals nationwide.
To get a better idea of COVID-19’s fatality rate, it is best to check a range of different reputable sources, such as the below:
- Worldometer Coronavirus Statistics
- BBC: Why Coronavirus Death and Mortality Rates Differ
- CNBC: Germany has a low coronavirus mortality rate: Here’s why
- The Economist: Covid-19’s death toll appears higher than official figures suggest
- TheLocal.it: What’s the problem with Italy’s official coronavirus numbers?
2. Why is social distancing necessary?
Due to the threats of the coronavirus, people all over the world are advised to limit social gatherings and maintain a distance of at least two meters from one another.
3. Why is a lockdown necessary?
After the initial implementations of lockdowns worldwide, many people were seen ignoring Government guidelines and instructions as they failed to understand the gravity of the situation and kept going on with their lives the way they used to. This led to a spike in the spread of the virus, which is why governments ordered lockdowns.
Another factor for the spread of this virus was how it stayed on inanimate objects for a considerable amount of time. This made every public area a potential spreader of the virus, including: restaurants, offices, malls and gyms. Hence, limiting the number of people outside was a necessary step in the control of the virus.
Lockdowns have been carried out as too many new cases will eventually exhaust national healthcare systems.
4. How many cases and deaths would happen if we didn’t do a lockdown?
Without lockdowns, there is a medical consensus that the Coronavirus would have spread to hundreds of millions of people within a matter of only months.
Thus, a complete lockdown was the exact need of the hour, as anyone harbouring the virus had the potential to spread it to all those that they got into contact with.
Studies suggest that the virus can be in a person’s body for two weeks before any symptoms appear (symptoms which are often mild, or very weak, particularly for young people). This increases the number of new cases exponentially.
In an effect known as the snowball phenomenon, the carriers start a chain of spread which never ceases, affecting countless numbers of people. Without the lockdown, there would have been an extreme burden on healthcare systems, exhausting them of their resources and resulting in millions of deaths. Therefore, the only solution to win against this pandemic is to stay at home and limit contact with anyone from the outside world.
5. How long will the Coronavirus lockdown last?
With a lot of uncertainty about the novel coronavirus, it is extremely difficult to determine when it will completely disappear and let people resume their normal activities.
Countries all over the world have different numbers of new and recovered cases, with some like China claiming to be successful in containing the spread of the virus, whereas other countries like Italy and Spain have failed to contain the virus.
Until this virus disappears completely or a vaccine is produced and distributed in enormous numbers, countries across the world may have to observe a state of partial or complete lockdown for months or even a whole year. The truth is that only time will tell and it is therefore best for businesses, governments and people to prepare for a worst case scenario and adapt to the situation the best they can in the meantime.