A study by researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health used models to give new insight into what our world might look like in the future with COVID-19.
Some points from the study, which was published in the journal Science, include:
- Recurrent outbreaks of COVID-19 will probably happen in the winter.
- Social distancing measures — prolonged or intermittent — may be needed until 2022 to help keep critical care capacity from being exceeded.
- The transmission of COVID-19 during the pandemic and after the initial pandemic would depend on factors like the degree of seasonal variation in regards to transmission, how long immunity would last and how much cross-immunity there is between COVID-19 and other coronaviruses.
- COVID-19 can pop up during any time of year. In their model, winter and spring had outbreaks with lower peaks, while fall and winter showed more severe outbreaks.
- If immunity to COVID-19 isn't permanent, it'll most likely enter into long-term circulation with other human betacoronaviruses.