How Long Will Americans Be Battling the Coronavirus?

March 20, 2020

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As people are confined to their homes, the economy tanks, and schools and restaurants remain closed, many Americans are wondering how long they'll likely have to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. To this end, there's bad news and there's bad news. Stephen Morse, a disease researcher at Columbia University, says that while there have been past disease outbreaks that scientists can draw lessons from, the current situation is "unprecedented, so those models don't precisely apply." A big problem is that, due to limited testing, researchers don't really have a handle on how many people are already infected--meaning they don't even know where the virus' starting point is. As for ballpark forecasts, most expect the pandemic to persevere for months, not weeks, with the development of an effective vaccine representing the only surefire endgame.