4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020


Ask Dr. Nandi: Expert report predicts up to two more years of pandemic misery

Posted at 9:54 PM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-02 21:54:22-04

The coronavirus pandemic could last up to two years, that’s according to a team of top experts. In their recently released report, scientists recommend that America prepare for the worst-case scenario.

I know this is not the news that most people want to hear, but let’s be realistic, the number of cases here in the US continue to climb. And that’s one of the factors that this group of experts looked at when they calculated that the pandemic could last between 18 months and two years.

In fact, they predict that the virus won’t stop until 60% to 70% of the population is infected. These experts came to this prediction by looking at a number of different factors - like history and how past pandemics have unfolded.

They also looked at prediction models and the contagious nature of the virus itself. And when comparing it to influenza, they said that COVID-19 appears to spread at a much faster rate than the flu. It has a longer incubation period, and can spread before people experience symptoms, if they get any at all.

Also, the virus has a higher RO number. An RO number tells us how contagious an infectious disease is, indicating the number people that can catch the virus from one infected person. And sadly, these scientists said that even in the best-case scenarios, people will still continue to die.

The report outlines three possible scenarios that might happen:

  • In the first scenario, the report says we could see “a series of repetitive smaller waves” taking place during the summer and continuing over the next year or two.
  • Scenario number two describes a larger wave happening in autumn or during wintertime. Followed by smaller waves in 2021.
  • And in the third scenario, there’s a possibility that we could see a “slow-burn”. Meaning no high waves or high rates of transmission cases, instead just a steady stream of transmission cases.

Now the scientists predict that scenario 2 is the most likely to happen, and this unfortunately is the worst-case scenario.

I’ve talked about vaccines recently, and there is a possibility that one or two may be ready before the end of the year. And if this were to happen, well then yes it’s possible that these scenarios could be impacted.

But knowing science as I do, anything can happen. Meaning that these potential vaccines might not pan out for us. But if they do, which I am hoping one or both will, then it will take time to get them mass-produced.

Let’s stop and think about this, just here in the US alone, we have over 328 million people. That’s a lot of mass production that needs to happen. And that’s why experts say it can take a year or more before a vaccine will be readily available.

Just when we think we have all the apps and technology we need... Dr. Partha Nandi, MD shows us some cutting-edge technology that can have a huge impact on your health. You’ll hear from the inventor of the Keen bracelet designed to break unwanted habits like hair pulling, nail-biting and thumb sucking. Another guest shares how her life was saved by the Familywize App, plus how the app Zello can find and save hurricane survivors. Watch The Dr. Nandi Show this Saturday, May 2nd at 2 pm.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

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View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

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See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.