There's no rush to return to our old social routines

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Internet “experts” will argue with the analysis to no end, but COVID-19 is now claiming more lives per day, about 2,000, than heart disease or cancer, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

And, despite theories that we need to mingle to develop “herd immunity,” the coronavirus is proving deadly because it spreads so easily, transmitted by those who have not yet had, nor may never have, symptoms, endangering the lives of the elderly and those with fragile health.

Despite pressure to allow gatherings as usual, most of us are willing to forego our usual activities in the interest of safety.

According to a Gallup poll released Tuesday, more than 8 in 10 Americans say they’ll hold off resumption of normal activities even after the government lifts restrictions.

Seventy-one percent said they would wait to see what happens before going back to routines, and another 10% said they’d continue to limit contact with other people and limit their daily activities indefinitely.

Only one in five Americans said they would return to normal activities immediately once restrictions are lifted.

Not surprisingly, results followed party affiliation, with 31% of Republicans in the immediate resumption group, and only 11% of Democrats and 19% of independents.

Twenty-three percent of small town and rural people said they’d return to activities quickly, compared to 15% in cities and 18% of suburbanites.

Household income or employment didn’t seem to make a difference, according to the poll.

The latest figures showed more than half a million COVID-19 cases and about 25,000 deaths in the United States, 1.85 million people infected worldwide and 114,000 deaths.

Another report from the CDC supports those who want to take their time.

Despite the 6-foot social distancing standard, the coronavirus can travel through the air at least 13 feet, more than twice as far, according to research from the Academy of Military Medical Sciences.

Scientists also found that half the shoes of ICU medical staff carried the virus, and other surfaces such as trashcans, bed rails and computer mice frequently carry high levels of the virus.

Yes, social isolation lost its novelty long ago for most of us, and we miss the opportunity to spend time with groups of friends.

But there’s plenty of evidence we should take our time getting back into our old routines.

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