Quarantine may take longer

The development of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 this year is bordering on a miracle. Without it, isolating yourself and avoiding larger clusters of people remains your best weapon against the virus. How long will it take?

So far, the Polish government has restricted freedom of movement until 11 April. Optimistically, we can assume that the models on which our authorities base their decisions assume that in two weeks everything will slowly return to normal and we will be able to return to normal life, meet friends, go out for a coffee, a movie or a pizza. However, I'm afraid it's too optimistic.

Scientists warn of a second wave of coronavirus infection

In the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the SARS-CoV-2 virus was discovered, the authorities decided to relax the quarantine regulations of the local population. The number of new infections slowed down practically to zero, so the decision seems to be quite logical.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, however , advise the Chinese authorities to be cautious about repealing population quarantine regulations.

Keisha Prem, co-author of the study, which appeared in The Lancet Public Health Journal, claims that premature return to normal life can turn into a second wave of infections, the peak of which will occur around August.

Mathematical models used for this study suggest that maintaining the quarantine regulations until the end of April may delay the second wave of infections until October.

The period of relative calm extended in this way would give the healthcare service the necessary time to regroup and better prepare for the next wave of patients. Researchers say their conclusions are universal enough to be used in all countries currently struggling with the coronavirus epidemic.

We will probably stay at home a little longer

If we take into account that isolation at home is currently the most effective (and actually - the only) way to not get infected with coronavirus and that only two weeks are left until April 11, it's difficult to take literally our government's declarations that everything should be by Easter return to normal.

It would be very good news if it turned out that there are no new cases of coronavirus infection in Poland, all those who are criminally subjected to home quarantine, and more severe cases are hospitalized immediately and everything is under control, but it almost certainly will not be. Of course, we can try to implement this scenario, but I'm afraid that after a few weeks it would end in a huge catastrophe in the form of a second, huge wave of infection.

The effects of non-compliance with any recommendations regarding isolation from people and the avoidance of large crowds could be seen even in Great Britain, where the authorities at the beginning stated that imposing any restrictions on the movement of citizens is a bad idea.

This view changed more or less after the first 100 deaths. A similar effect may have too early cancellation of the quarantine, which is why I bet that at the latest April 10 we will learn about the extension of the currently applicable coronavirus regulations in Poland.

Quarantine may take longer


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