One of the scariest things about the Coronavirus is the fact that there is so much we don’t know about it for sure. Can we look at what has happened in other countries and extrapolate from there? Can we make intelligent guesses? Are there things we can intelligently presume? Yes, yes & yes, but when you dig into it, you find experts disagree on an enormous number of things about the virus and other things, they just don’t know. For example…
1) How long are people with the Coronavirus contagious? The standard answer seems to be 14 days, but there are some indications it could be more than 30.
2) Can you get infected more than once? Some experts say “no,” but there have also been multiple reports of it happening, so who knows?
3) How long will it take to make a vaccine?
4) There are several existing medicines that MAY be useful in fighting the drug. Will they turn out to be effective on a wide scale?
5) Will the virus fade as the weather gets warmer?
6) How long will we need to engage in social distancing to keep the virus from spreading at too rapid of a speed? A month? Two months? Six months? A year?
7) Is there permanent damage done to the lungs of some people that recover from the Coronavirus? There have been reports of lung damage in some cases, but no definitive answer about how long-term that damage will be.
8) How long has the virus been spreading in the United States? There are some indications it could have been here since October of last year.
9) How much economic damage will the virus do before it’s over? The stock market has already plunged and there are some indications that unemployment could reach 20% before this is all over. Certain industries (cruise ship, air travel, tourist, restaurants, sporting events) are going to take a hit, but a lot of small businesses may not be able to survive months without revenue. A recession seems guaranteed and the primary question seems to be whether it will end as the virus fades.
10) What percentage of people with the Coronavirus die from it? We certainly know it’s much more deadly for older Americans and people with underlying immune issues, but not how deadly it is. The percentage of deaths could conceivably still be about the same as the flu or as much as 20-40 times worse. We just don’t know.