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What will life be like after the coronavirus? It will not return to normal …

According to the director of MIT Technology Review with the support of simulated reports from Imperial College London, the beginning of a completely different lifestyle

A question to which surely in these last weeks of total social restrictions, induced by coronavirus pandemic, we asked ourselves. At least once and with great worries and anxieties. What will life be like after coronavirus? Gordon Lichfield, director of MIT Technology Review, the magazine of the prestigious American university Massachusetts Institute of Technology, entirely dedicated to the changes in personal life and in the business world that the pandemic is expected to end up crystallizing even after it is mitigated.

Lichfield in his introduction very clear. Questionable but unexceptionable stop the coronavirus we will have to radically change almost everything we do. How we work, exercise, socialize, shop, manage our health, educate our children, take care of family members. "We all want things to go back to normal quickly. But most of us probably haven't realized yet that things won't go back to normal after a few weeks or even a few months. Some things never will. "

Lichfield starts from the finding, before which the British government has surrendered, that every country needs do like Italy, that is flatten the contagion curve. Therefore impose a social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus to avoid the collapse of the health system.

And it would imply that the pandemic must last, lessened, until there are enough people who have had Covid-19 to leave most of the others immune or that a vaccine is not found in the meantime.

life after coronavirus

But according to Lichfield it could not end here. In that as long as someone in the world has the virus, the epidemics will continue to repeat. What will life be like after the coronavirus? What should we expect. What measures still need to be imposed?

In support of these exhausting reflections, researchers' reports have arrived of Imperial College London. Where do you start. From a control method. Or. Imposing more extreme social distancing measures whenever hospitalizations in intensive care units (ICUs) begin to increase, and relax them every time the hospitalizations decrease.

What does it mean? Whenever ICU admissions exceed a threshold, for example, 100 per week, the country should close all schools and most universities, adopting social distancing. When they drop below 50 hospitalizations, these measures would be reversed, but people with symptoms or whose family members have symptoms would still be confined to their home.

Following the graph above where the orange line is that of ICU admissions practically social distancing and the closure of schools should be in force for about two thirds of the time, active two months and a month on break, until a vaccine, which will require at least 18 months.

An absurd period. Other solutions? None.Without the social distancing of the entire population, even the best mitigation strategy (which means isolation or quarantine of the sick, the old and those exposed, plus the closure of schools) would still lead to a wave of seriously ill patients eight times greater than that of the US system or British can face.

And impose restrictions for a long and contiguous period? This would not be good either. Once the spacing measures are eliminated, the pandemic would break out again, only this time it would be in winter, the worst time for health systems that are already too tense.

Life after coronavirus seen in this way, a realistic scenario? We are talking about a simulation, not about concrete predictions. The hope is clearly that of a vaccine as soon as possible to be used for the elderly and at risk. But for Lichfield, there is no mention in any case of the beginning of a completely different lifestyle.