Will social distancing be the new normal? Mayo Clinic

As some states look toward relaxing restrictions and social distancing measures, such as stay-at-home orders, new projections suggest social distancing may need to continue through 2022. Researchers predict that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will return every winter, and that prolonged or intermittent social distancing strategies could limit the strain on health care systems.

social distancing on wooden table

Photo by Joshua Miranda on Pexels.com

Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic COVID-19 expert, predicts that the COVID-19 pandemic will change many aspects of U.S. culture in the future, including the need to always practice social distancing measures.

“I think that’s going to become inevitable. I think we very well may become a culture, at least in the wintertime when there are so many respiratory viruses circulating, that we’ll be more like Asian cultures, where they more readily wear masks when outdoors. I think we’ll take more seriously in clinics and hospitals, and nursing homes, the respiratory diseases that circulate every year, and which lead to hospitalizations and deaths ― influenza being the exemplar,” says Dr. Poland, who is the director of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group.

He also sees this pandemic changing the future of health care delivery.

“There’s a lot we can do with telehealth, telemedicine. We don’t necessarily need to bring everybody in, expose them to some of the potential dangers of that, in order to advise them as to what the next course of treatment or the next diagnostic test may be.”

As work to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 continues, Dr. Poland hopes that this pandemic shines light on the importance of vaccines to prevent illness.

“As we develop vaccines against these respiratory diseases, I hope we’ll take vaccination more seriously. When you think about influenza, people over the age of 65 account for 90% of the deaths due to flu; yet, maybe we get 50%–60% of them to take the flu vaccine. This may energize the whole enterprise of vaccines as a way of preventing diseases,” says Dr. Poland.

9 Comments

Filed under coronavirus, coronavirus risk, COVID-19, social distancing

9 responses to “Will social distancing be the new normal? Mayo Clinic

  1. garrystafford

    Agreed! I hesitate to think however what it may take to have people take seriously masks and distance in addition to the willingness to accept vaccines.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sam

    It is certainly going to be interesting to see what changes for us… what a strange time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wayne Blankenbiller

    sad but true

    On Mon, May 4, 2020 at 11:04 PM One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100 wrote:

    > Tony posted: “As some states look toward relaxing restrictions and social > distancing measures, such as stay-at-home orders, new projections suggest > social distancing may need to continue through 2022. Researchers predict > that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hit the “like” but I don’t really like. These are scary and changing times. I don’t want to distance myself from everyone. I’m tired of staying at home. But I also do not want to get sick 😧 …or make someone else sick. My biggest take away is to get back in shape (staying at home and eating more has not bode well). I know taking care of myself is step one in prevention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree – ‘scary and changing times’ – is exactly right. No one asked for this, but we all have to deal with it. Thankfully, I can still ride my bike, but I miss restaurants, movies, watching sports. It’s a one day at a time deal. Work on your exercise. Don’t let yourself get unhealthy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I am now tracking my food again on MyFitneesPal. It works if I’m consistent. We can get out too, thank goodness! But now it’s getting hot. “never give up” that’s my motto!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a good motto. Keep looking forward.

    Like

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