If social distancing works to "flatten the curve," that will be great, but I'm wondering how long we will need to keep doing it.

Here at Meadhouse, we started our self-isolation around February 28th, a bit loosely, and then tightened it up by March 6th. I'm mostly visualizing it in terms of the next month, maybe the next 2 months, and I'm hoping America shapes up and does a great job of achieving the flattened curve that preserves access to healthcare services. That's the prime goal right now, and people are stepping up to it.

But I'm not hearing much talk about the next phase. Maybe you can point me to some articles on this subject. When do we reemerge? What are the possibilities? My rough understanding is that if we had not taken on this curve-flattening strategy, the virus would have hit like a tsunami. Trump used that water metaphor in his speech yesterday:
Some of the doctors say it will wash through, it will flow through. Interesting terms and very accurate. I think you’re going to find in a number of weeks it’s going to be a very accurate term.
That made me think: So the same amount of "water" is going to get in, but it will hit much more gently, more slowly. And it would speed up again if we returned to normal life, I take it, unless we do social distancing until the flow-through process is complete. My unscientific sense of what needs to happen is that large numbers of Americans need to slowly get the disease and recover with acquired immunity before we can resume normal life. We just need to make that process happen slowly.

Perhaps we can't know how long social distancing will be needed until we see how much we've managed to slow the process down. Maybe the process will be calibrated by increments of ending social distancing. And some of the distancing may never end — should never end. I know I stopped touching doorknobs in public places decades ago. Thinking about what you are touching, washing your hands and not touching your face, covering coughs and sneezes, and getting 6 feet away from anyone who acts sick — these are things we will do well to make a permanent part of life.

Maybe social distancing will balance out in the next 2 months, with many precautions feeling normal and extreme aspects of social avoidance gradually seeming less important.

But I anticipate looking back at this post in 2 months — and I am planning to live — and thinking oh, if you only knew! 2 months?!! Ha ha. No wonder they didn't tell you how long this would take! 

But there, now, I've said it. Message to future me: See? I wasn't naive. I knew.

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