Harvard warns social distancing could extend through 2022

Tired of social distancing? The absence of a vaccine to treat the coronavirus could extend the measures to contain the outbreak through 2022, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published a study in the journal Science on Tuesday warning that social distancing measures being used today may have to be extended for a few more years until the population in the US can build immunity to the virus.

“Intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or vaccine becomes available,” Harvard researchers said in the study.

This isn’t the first time such drastic measures have been warned, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to pummel the US, resulting in more than 27,000 deaths statewide.

Lifting social distancing rules isn’t going to come any time soon. New York City is embracing for a possible summerless summer with the possibility of beaches being closed through the warm months.

Even as health experts say social distancing is the way to flatten the curve, one MIT researcher even questioned the effectiveness of social distancing, arguing the six-feet social distancing rule isn’t enough to flatten the curve since coronavirus-bearing droplets of any size can travel between 23 to 27 feet from their host after emission.

The on-and-off suggestion for social distancing is a possibility unless a vaccine or hospital capacity is increased, according to the study.