How long will social distancing have to last?

How long are we going to have to keep this up? How long will schools stay closed? It’s an especially hard question for science to answer.

The best and most honest reply, according to epidemiologists and virologists, is simply: “It depends.” It’s not going to be over anytime soon – a matter of months rather than weeks. And these are the key factors that will determine just how many months:

  • It depends on when U.S. cases finally reach their peak.
  • Even after the peak, we may need drastic actions to keep the virus at bay.
  • It depends on still unknown characteristics of the virus.
  • Much also depends on how much we’re willing to do, for how long.

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