(ReliableNews.org) – We’ve come to understand a great deal about the coronavirus, but some questions still need answering. Many of the mysteries are relegated to the scientific community for sure. However, there’s a lot we don’t fully grasp when it comes to issues that affect everyday life.
How Many Are Infected?
As of May 15, there are more than 4.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases across the world, including nearly 1.5 million in the US. That’s only including the number of people who’ve received tests.
There aren’t enough virus test kits to regularly or comprehensively assess the entire world population. Although, America’s excelling at testing compared to other countries, with 300k tests conducted every day. That rate is only increasing as 2020 progresses. However, a high percentage of people who have the illness either experience mild or no symptoms. That further adds to the unknown number of infections that fall under the radar.
What Social Distancing Works Best?
There was a massive shutdown of virtually everything when the outbreak first got serious. Not much was known about the virus back then, so caution was the order of the day. That still persists, but it’s easing and we still aren’t entirely sure which social-distancing practices are most effective.
Remote work is one method, though it’s not available to all workers. Bans on large gatherings could help, though everyone wearing face masks can drastically cut down on infection rates. Do we shut everything down and live on stimulus bills until there’s a vaccine? Maybe air travel should be heavily restricted, but that would lead to significant damage to the airline industry. Can people still visit parks and beaches if we’re staying at least six feet apart?
Which methods work best with the least amount of economic drawback still needs further exploration.
Why Have Some Areas Not Seen an Outbreak?
A prime example of this question is Tokyo (16k+ across all of Japan) vs New York City (355k+ cross NY state). Why did NYC explode in COVID-19 cases while Tokyo, a denser city that also heavily relies on public transportation and has similar weather, do so much better?
It’s not just about looking at differences in response time, readiness, hygiene practices, and other factors. The countless factors paint a foggy picture and even suggest that luck is a variable worth considering, too.
How Will Weather Affect the Virus?
While there are studies to show that warm, sunny, humid weather hurts the coronavirus in principle, in practice, it’s not enough. Infections continue to spread as we enter summer. However, could heat waves be enough to tip the scale and substantially limit transmission rates? There’s also speculation there could be seasonal outbreaks until a vaccine is developed.
Does COVID-19 Immunity Last a Long Time?
Will the more than 1.7 million recovered individuals across the globe develop lasting immunity to COVID-19? There have been indications that reinfections happen. Some people even have prolonged cases of the symptoms, sometimes lasting over a month.
As our brightest minds search for answers, these gaps in our collective knowledge must still be dealt with. Progress is being made and that’s what counts. Still, it would be beneficial for all if we understood more about the coronavirus and how to best deal with it.
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