The Future of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned from Pandemic Influenza,
by Moore, Lipsitch, Barry, Osterholm - COVID-19: The CIDRAP Viewpoint, April 30, 2020: [source pdf
- The length of the pandemic will likely be 18 to 24 months
- Given the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, 60% to 70% of the population may need to be immune to reach a critical threshold of herd immunity to halt the pandemic
- This may be complicated by the fact that we don’t yet know the duration of immunity to natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. Based on seasonal coronaviruses, we can anticipate that even if immunity declines after exposure, there may still be some protection against disease severity and reduced contagiousness, but this remains to be assessed for SARS-CoV-2.
3 Scenarios following the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020:
- Scenario 1: a series of repetitive smaller waves that occur through the summer and then consistently over a 1-to 2-year period, gradually diminishing sometime in 2021
- Scenario 2: a larger wave in the fall or winter of 2020 and one or more smaller subsequent waves in 2021
- Scenario 3: a “slow burn” of ongoing transmission and case occurrence, but without a clear wave pattern.
Whichever scenario the pandemic follows (assuming at least some level of ongoing mitigation measures), we must be prepared for at least another 18 to 24 months of significant COVID-19 activity