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  • As of this video's writing, March 22nd, 2020, we're almost four months into a brave

  • new COVID-19 world.

  • Since the initial public reports of the Novel Coronavirus on December 31st of 2019, we've

  • had over 300,000 confirmed cases, nearly 200,000 of which are still active.

  • While recoveries are still vastly outnumbering deaths – 95,000 to 13,000 at the time of

  • this countingthe disease has already caused massive changes to how we as individuals

  • and as a society have lived our lives.

  • Scientists and epidemiologists have estimated that it could take as long as eighteen months,

  • or potentially even more, to research, develop, and distribute a workable vaccine.

  • Many optimists believe that, if governmental roll out of treatment is effective and containment

  • procedures are followed, we may see cases begin to abate during the Summer months in

  • much the same way we do during flu season.

  • However, while it's nice to hope for the best, it can often be more useful to plan

  • for the worst-case scenario.

  • What if the pandemic does continue as it does now for those whole eighteen months, or even beyond?

  • While this is a fast-developing situation and the facts of the case tend to evolve day

  • by day, we can turn to experts and look at their current predictions for what an eighteen-month-or-beyond

  • pandemic might look like.

  • Also, keep in mind: The best way to avoid the adverse effects of the Coronavirus on

  • a personal level is to avoid catching it in the first place.

  • In order to do this, maintain social distancing, stay indoors, wash your hands frequently,

  • and don't touch your face.

  • Before we take a look at where we might be heading with the COVID-19 pandemic, we first

  • need to take a look at where we've been, and chart the course of the virus' growth

  • and spread over time.

  • As we previously mentioned, the first whisperings of the virus happened publicly in late December of 2019.

  • Chinese health officials traced 41 cases of mysterious pneumonia back to the Huanan Seafood

  • Wholesale Market, where the virus is believed to have infected its first human hosts.

  • Coronaviruses are Zoonotic diseases, meaning they originate in the animal kingdom before

  • passing to human hosts.

  • After drawing the connection on January 1st, the Chinese government put the kibosh on the

  • exotic meat market, but by then it was already too late to contain the disease.

  • Chinese scientists first identified COVID-19 a week later, and by the 11th of January,

  • China reported their first COVID-19 death.

  • By January 20th, 2020, COVID-19 had already been exported across the globe.

  • Cases were reported in Thailand and the US, and by January 23rd, the Chinese government

  • put the entire city of Wuhan under strict quarantine.

  • By the end of the month, the World Health Organization had declared a public health

  • emergency, and President Trump had issued a ban on travelling to the US for those who'd

  • been in Wuhan up to two weeks prior to travelling.

  • The first ten days of February saw infections spike both inside and outside China, as well

  • as the first deaths in the Philippines and the death of a United States citizen in Wuhan.

  • By the ninth of February, the death toll in China had surpassed that of the 2002-2003

  • SARS epidemic with 811 fatalities.

  • February also gave us the virus' name, COVID-19, as well as huge outbreaks in the US, South

  • Korea, Iran, and Italy.

  • The end of February also brought the first deaths on US soil, as the devastation continued

  • into March.

  • Early March saw cases pop up on every continent across the globe, as well as a declaration

  • of global pandemic from the World Health Organization.

  • In the wake of increasing case numbers and skyrocketing COVID-19 deaths, countries have

  • ramped up their quarantine and safety measures across the planet.

  • On March 17th, a leaked government plan revealed the possibility that the pandemic could potentially

  • last as long as eighteen months, and come in multiple waves rather than being a single, linear progression.

  • This brings us to the present.

  • It's clear that the progression has been extremely rapid, with an almost unprecedented global spread.

  • Some government measures may slow the global rate of transmission slightly, but where can

  • we expect to go from here?

  • We've seen a huge rush of school closures and event cancellations across the globe,

  • as well as the closing of non-essential meeting places like bars, theatres, and dine-in restaurants.

  • These trends are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and affect almost every

  • aspect of our lives, from food to entertainment to healthcare.

  • Entertainment is moving increasingly towards streaming and video-on-demand, with major

  • releases like Wonder Woman: 1984 skipping its theatrical run entirely and moving directly

  • towards VOD-releasing.

  • If we're looking at a protracted pandemic, we'll likely see more more and more releases

  • forego their theatrical runs and go straight to video on demand.

  • However, this actually has wider implications for your entertainment as a whole.

  • Production sets for movies and television involve a lot of people working in close proximity

  • making them huge transmission risks.

  • As a result, it's unlikely new movies and TV shows would be made, so you better get

  • used to enjoying re-runs of all your favorite shows.

  • Thankfully, many internet content creatorslike this showare less likely to

  • be affected due to having smaller teams.

  • So, there will be plenty more new videos to get you through the boredom of quarantine.

  • The National Debt is something that's also likely to rise.

  • The US Federal Reserve has already spent trillions of dollars in market fluctuation relief and

  • the US government has also recently spent $100 billion as part of a COVID-19 relief package.

  • These numbers are likely to continue rising over the eighteen-month period,

  • if the pandemic does indeed last that long.

  • Many areas in the US have adopted temporary policies forbidding eviction for the lack

  • of rent due to the unprecedented levels of sudden unemployment.

  • Other proposed legislation will likely increase pay for sick leave, and also move towards

  • financial relief for small businesses suffering due to shut-downs.

  • School closures over the next eighteen months will also cause massive disruption to education

  • systems across the globe.

  • High school exams being cancelled will lead to huge reductions in college admissions,

  • essentially stalling the college system for over a year while new systems and technology

  • are developed to work around the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • If classes do resume, they'll likely be online, using services such as Zoom that've

  • grown extremely popular as of late.

  • Many commentators have observed that social distancing will likely fundamentally change

  • our way of life for years to come, even after the 18-month pandemic concludes.

  • In the short term, writer Gideon Lichfield posits that the following businesses are likely

  • to be the most damaged by protracted, mandatory social distancing: restaurants, cafes, bars,

  • nightclubs, gyms, hotels, theaters, cinemas, art galleries, shopping malls, craft fairs,

  • museums, musicians and other performers, sporting venues and sports teams, conference venues

  • and conference producers, cruise lines, airlines, public transportation, private schools, and

  • day-care centers.

  • Huge stresses to these businesses will likely shift the economy on a fundamental level,

  • leading to what some economists have dubbed theshut-in economy.”

  • The 18-month pandemic also throws the prospect of future federal and state elections into

  • question, considering the amount of public gathering at polling stations that's usually

  • required during voting.

  • The economic and political nature of the entire planet is likely to shift over the coming

  • monthswith consolation prizes being the sudden reduction of carbon emissions from

  • working at home and the complete nosedive of international travel during the current crisis.

  • Many predict that the only conceivable way to manage future pandemics in the wake of

  • COVID-19's devastation will be to develop better healthcare systems, and sophisticated

  • technology to predict, detect, and treat those at risk before outbreaks even have an opportunity

  • to become epidemics and pandemics.

  • Still, in the short term, many have predicted issues with supply shortagesalready precipitated

  • with rampant panic buying at many retail environments across the globe, as well as dangerous medical

  • supply shortages that could leave some of the most vulnerable in real danger.

  • Many predict that, using the precedent of prior pandemics, the stress of worldwide lockdowns

  • and supply shortages could result in widespread riots and civil unrest.

  • This could not only succeed in spreading the virus further, but will also expend valuable

  • government resources better spent treating cases of the virus itself.

  • Also, it goes without saying that people's lives would also be negatively affected by

  • the violence itself.

  • The New York Times outlined a numerical worst-case-scenario for the pandemic in the US: If things go badly,

  • 160 million to 214 million people could be infected with COVID-19 over a brief pandemic period.

  • This leaves the door open for 200,000 to 1.7 million deaths, and between 2.4 million and

  • 21 million hospitalizations.

  • Thisin addition to the social distancing measures required to prevent further devastation

  • will likely cause economic devastation that's hard to predict.

  • There's likely to be further job losses, as well as continued market instability that

  • could affect everything from employment rates to currency values.

  • Ironically, stretching the pandemic over a protracted period of timesuch as eighteen

  • monthscould actually bode well for society overall.

  • You may have heard the phraseflattening the curverecently, but not had it fully explained.

  • Essentially, it's extremely likely that large portions of the US will be infected

  • with COVID-19, regardless of what happens.

  • In order to ensure best results, social distancing spreads the infections over time, allowing

  • the healthcare system to support a smaller number of cases over a longer period of time.

  • If the cases spike massively in a short period of time, while the pandemic will technically

  • be over earlier, it will overwhelm the healthcare system and cause a much larger death toll.

  • In other words, the longer the disease lasts, the better off everyone involved will be.

  • In the meantime, scientists are developing fifteen different potential vaccines across

  • the globe, using diverse technologies that include mRNA, DNA, nanoparticle, synthetic,

  • and modified virus-like particles to hasten the process.

  • Phase 1 clinical trials are beginning in multiple countries for various potential COVID-19 vaccines

  • and treatments, though as stated before, many of these could take as long as eighteen months

  • to potentially be offered to the publicespecially when factoring in testing and distribution time.

  • While the vaccine will ultimately be a huge part of ending the pandemic, it's an end

  • so far off that it's not worth banking on for the time being.

  • The fact is, the world is currently united in one cause: Fighting the COVID-19 virus,

  • and preventing it from claiming and ruining lives as much as we can.

  • Everyone on Earth has a responsibility to reduce the spread of the disease by maintaining

  • social distance, keeping good hygiene, and staying informed through reliable sources

  • like the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control.

  • While frightening scenarios like an eighteen-month pandemic are becoming increasingly likely

  • over time, all we can do is be responsible and compassionate, and work together in fighting

  • the viral threat that unites us.

  • Thank you for watching this episode of The Infographics Show.

  • We realize these can be scary times, but we're here to keep you occupied.

  • If you want more information on diseases and our response to them, check outWhy Spanish

  • Flu Killed Over 50 Million PeopleDeadliest Plague In Modern HistoryandWhat If

  • Ebola Infected The Whole World.”

  • In the meantime, stay indoors, wash your hands, and get that hand off your face!

As of this video's writing, March 22nd, 2020, we're almost four months into a brave

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What If the COVID-19 Pandemic Lasts 18 Months or More?

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