As offices around the country shuttered in-office activities back in March, the workforce has adjusted to remote-working situations where Zoom conference calls and parent-teaching both are being conducted in living rooms. Despite some workplaces being cleared to reopen up offices, many companies have extended work-from-home measures until a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available.
While some would argue it’s time to go back to work, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that’s not going to happen any time soon.
Thomas Frieden, former director of the CDC, said it could take up to a year from now for things to remotely return to normal. Speaking at a CNBC Workforce Executive Council virtual event on July 23, Frieden’s eerie timeline took into account of a potential vaccine as scientists around the world rush to find a cure.
“Even with a vaccine, there is no going back to normal anytime soon,” Frieden, who now runs the Resolve to Save Lives disease prevention organization, said.
He noted, “Prepare for at least eight to 12 months of this situation.” But he did add that staying at home forever wasn’t feasible but the world will never really be the same. “There is no 100% safe other than everyone staying at home, which is too difficult. We will be living in a 24/7 Covid world eventually,” he said.
The 8-to-12 month timeline aligns with what some of the top tech companies are aiming toward. Google recently announced it would keep employees home until Summer 2021, which is a delayed opening considering other tech companies like Facebook planned to welcome back employees in January.