Nobody knows how this ends.
As weeks turn into months, it’s hard to believe we might return to ‘normal’ at some point.
Boris Johnson’s speech last night laid out basic plans on how could reopen schools, shops, restaurants and pubs – but there are strings attached. We have to keep the infection rate below 1 otherwise we’ll face another lockdown.
This is a departure from the initial lockdown justification: reducing the spread while we build up NHS capacity.
While the government waits (and hopes), the rest of us can only watch as the economy collapses.
The Bank of England believes the British economy could shrink by 14% this year with unemployment more than doubling. That would represent the deepest recession in modern history.
Can Britain recovery by the end of the year?
We Shouldn’t count on a vaccine
As we all know, COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus. Despite decades of effort, not once have scientists been able to create a successful vaccine against a coronavirus.
The respiratory system, which coronavirus attacks, is generally unreceptive to vaccination. “It’s a separate immune system, if you like, which isn’t easily accessible by vaccine technology.” Dr. Ian Frazer, who developed the HPV vaccine, said.
In-fact, previous trial vaccines actually aided the coronaviruses:
One of the problems with corona vaccines in the past has been that when the immune response does cross over to where the virus-infected cells are, it actually increases the pathology instead of reducing it. So that immunisation with SARS corona vaccine caused, in animals, inflammation in the lungs, which wouldn’t otherwise have been there if the vaccine hadn’t been given.Dr. Ian Frazer
A drug therapy is more likely
Of course, it’s possible that we see a vaccine that is both safe and effective in the future, but history suggests this won’t happen. Even so, the possibility of a functioning vaccine by the first few months of 2021 remains unlikely.
Drug treatments are therefor our best hope for managing COVID-19.
In the US, doctors are testing a drug called remdesivir which blocks coronaviruses from making copies of their genetic material. Data from a trial of more than 1,000 severely ill patients has seen recovery times cut from 15 to 11 days.
Yet, we still cannot say when a dependable medicine will be available and whether it would give us enough confidence to get us onto the road to recovery.
We might have to take our chances
The economy – or segments of it – are beginning to reopen. Last night, Boris Johnson urged construction and manufacturing workers to restart. And non-essential stores may be permitted to reopen at the beginning of June.
Britons are beginning test their luck at work rather than remain chained down at home, jobless and hopeless, waiting for a cure.
They will fare out into a changed country with their eyes open, their tread light, and their fingers crossed.