One of the biggest concerns from scientists and researchers regarding the future of COVID-19 is the public's ability to distance. The UK locked down much later than other countries because of the notion that people would grow tired of social distancing measures and a peak would rise. However, according to research from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London, this has not been the case. The MRC survey—published in June—found that a large portion of the population in the 53 countries that had eased lockdown restrictions was still practicing social distancing and personal health measures. Experts agree that social distancing measures—wearing masks, washing hands, staying six feet apart from others—are some of the best ways to combat the pandemic, and the public is by and large abiding by these measures. The New York Times found over 50 percent of people said they wore masks in 13 of 21 countries, including the U.S., Italy, Japan, and Germany. Social distancing measures—which scientists assumed would peter off—are continuing to thrive. Given the steady downward trend in daily new infections in countries ransacked by the virus—the United States in particular—the pandemic will be over by July if the public continues to practice social distancing measures. They have, and there have been no signs of stopping.
Relying on distancing metrics from the past does not tell us anything about the future. The public's ability to keep social distancing efforts going in the seven months since the start of the pandemic is great, but with some studies estimating that distancing efforts will continue until 2022, the future is hard to predict.
Rejecting the premises