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What if the worst case scenario is true

(27 Posts)
MmNashville Tue 28-Apr-20 06:10:34

Sorry to write one of those doom and gloom posts when no one knows yet and we don't have the facts, but what if this is like flu in that there is no 'cure' or eradication, and a vaccine only provides effective immunity across a proportion (is it 60/70% for flu) over a time limited period.

The key points of that that I am mainly/selfishly thinking about are the impact on personal lives- seeing friends and family, but also how would we make new friends or take part in some hobbies? How will we start new relationships? Will we travel again?

If there was no cure, how would we do these things? What about lost education, opportunities, fertility treatments and medical treatmment.

What if it genuinely is going to stick around? We will all be 60, 70 or 80 one day.

Also I have an underlying health condition, it is not serious, but it feels like borrowed time and luck has to run out.

Anyone else?

OP’s posts: |
MRex Tue 28-Apr-20 06:20:02

Over time eventually viruses tend to mutate to become less lethal. Herd immunity provides some protection, we don't all catch flu each year even without massive take-up of the vaccine. Treatment plans will be clearer. NHS capacity will be made. Once it's been through the world population once the impact won't be as bad in subsequent runs. Vaccines may not be easy to find and may need adjustment every year like the flu vaccine, but it's unlikely that nothing will be found to at least mitigate its effects.

DivGirl Tue 28-Apr-20 08:23:24

Whether it sticks around or we find a good treatment lockdown will end. People will be allowed to meet up again, life will get back to something near to normal. I think the next phase will open up more of the routine appointments that have been postponed due to this initial lockdown. Education hasn't been lost, it's timeline has just been altered. For travel? Well the way we were travelling wasn't sustainable for the planet so I'll be glad if that changes.

And you're right, we will all be elderly one day. No one is immortal. Whether it's cancer or covid something kills us all. What is inevitable in 10 or 20 or 30 years time isn't worth losing sleep over today.

From your post it seems like you are frightened of the unknown, which is understandable. But even if covid stays exactly as transmissible and lethal as it is we will adapt.

Keepdistance Tue 28-Apr-20 08:52:07

The impact will depend on things like whether kids get it and are inmune or keep getting it
Whether it is reactivating or people getting it again
Whether vit d or bcg make a difference
Whether people take more responsibility for their health
People might choose having kids younger (or not at all)
Hopefully more people will wfh long term as the impact on environment. Maybe with tax rebate etc for employer/ee.
Maybe we might see less drunk people in a&e as they can see that a&e doesnt need to be packed every weekend

bluetongue Tue 28-Apr-20 10:51:39

Even if a vaccine isn’t 100% effective it will still be enough to hopefully get our ‘old’ lives back. Plus the fact that the virus won’t be novel anymore and there will some residual immunity in the community.

After all, the flu can be deadly and vaccines aren’t guaranteed but we don’t see over 70’s locked up indefinitely in case they get the flu and die.

We’ll l learn to live with this virus. It’s not the end of civilisation as life as we know it even though there’s no doubt the financial and social hit has been huge.

BuffaloCauliflower Tue 28-Apr-20 10:54:04

Well we’ve had the flu forever and we’ve still been able to see people and do things haven’t we? As PP said we don’t lock away all elderly people because of the flu risk, even though that can and does kill plenty of people every year.

MinesaPinot Tue 28-Apr-20 10:58:40

BuffaloCauliflower that's exactly what me and DH have been saying.

Giggorata Tue 28-Apr-20 11:06:10

I don't think the comparison with flu holds up. Not unless or until the virus mutates to become less lethal than it is today.
Estimates I've read vary between x10 and x34.

IndiaMay Tue 28-Apr-20 11:07:21

The flu is awful, it kills around 10,000 people a year in the UK and we continue as normal. If you think so far covid has killed 20,000 with no vaccine, if we were able to get a vaccine similar to the flu one for covid, we could well bring those covid deaths down to match the flu ones

Giggorata Tue 28-Apr-20 11:08:18

Sorry, more lethal than flu

Giggorata Tue 28-Apr-20 11:10:24

Yes, I agree about the vaccine, and hope for one asap but we also need to develop some drugs for those infected.

Moondust001 Tue 28-Apr-20 11:14:26

It is highly unlikely that we will ever "find a cure" - or, at least, it's highly unlikely to happen any time soon. We are still looking for a cure for the common cold and flu. And no vaccine (or even natural immunity) is 100%. What will happen is that the virus will become less of a threat; we will improve treatment regimes as we understand more about it; we will find a vaccine that works well; and many other things, not least of all will be the fact that eventually the majority of people will want their world back.

Whilst the threat of this new virus should not be understated, we are honestly not aware of the risks and threats that already exist in our world. If we were, we'd never set foot outside the house. Do you know that in 2018 we recorded 50,000 more deaths that year than any average year? That was because of a flu epidemic that contributed to the deaths of many vulnerable and older people. You didn't know about it? Why would you - we don't get panicky about flu, even though it's dangerous to some groups. Do you drive? Do you know how many people are injured and killed as a result of cars? Do you know that sepsis infects some 139,000 in the UK every year and kills nearly 37,000? It's really dangerous out there, you should definitely never set foot outside again.

Oh, but do you know how that 6,000 people die every year due to accidents in the homes, and 2.7 million visits to A&E departments are due to accidents in the home. Homes, as it happens, are more dangerous than the roads.

There is potentially danger all around us all the time.Some of it, but not most of it, we can't control. And we would go mad if we thought about it. So we don't. And eventually we won't think about this virus much either!

RhymingRabbit3 Tue 28-Apr-20 11:15:45

We would just have to live with the virus. We wouldnt be able to put our lives on hold forever. We would have to go back to school, work, socialising and just accept the fact that some people will catch the virus and die from it.

TiredMummyXYZ Tue 28-Apr-20 11:17:59

It hasn’t ‘just’ killed 20,000 though has it? If you count community and care home deaths the figure is in excess of 40,000. Comparisons with flu are not helpful. I think we will adjust and vaccines or better treatments might be found but we shouldn’t underestimate it.

sashh Tue 28-Apr-20 11:22:43

Yes, I agree about the vaccine, and hope for one asap but we also need to develop some drugs for those infected.

Don't hold your breath, antivirals don't destroy viruses, it's highly unlikley there will be a cure developed. Look at HIV / AIDS, there are drugs that have been succesful as a treatment but they don't cure HIV.

I think, if there is no vaccine and we don't get immunity from having it then there will be a 'best response' developed.

Outbreaks will be isoltaed and we may see the return of specialist hospitals, like the ones used to treat TB or 'fever hospitals'.

In allprobabilty a version of the response to Polio, so once a case is seen then public buildings, schools etc within a certain radius will close and a 'test and isolate' response in that area.

mumwon Tue 28-Apr-20 11:24:15

@IndiaMay the reason flu death is not lower is also so many people who should take it up - don't. But lets remember this death & hospitalization rate will be on top of or additional to flu outbreaks - we need more money invested into WHO who (!) act as an overview of up to date information on research & current universal information on the nature & form of outbreaks. Regardless of the blame game going on -no one was ready for the size & spread & effect of this pandemic-I really believe that every country has to use this as a learning curve & recognise that international support & freedom of information & rethinking in retrospect what they got wrong & what worked. It a very severe learning curve

mumwon Tue 28-Apr-20 11:28:28

(which is not to say that even WHO is without fault it has to learn & use its experience in dealing with national infrastructure - but I think they also have to be tactful/diplomatic to get want the information & action from each country)

picklemewalnuts Tue 28-Apr-20 11:31:18

Worst case scenario, we will go back to having a shorter life expectancy. The longevity of the last 50 years is an anomaly, historically speaking.

YinuCeatleAyru Tue 28-Apr-20 11:32:54

The lockdown isn't because we are trying to eradicate the virus or avoid anyone getting it until a vaccine is found, but rather to slow things down enough so that the hospitals weren't suddenly landed with thousands of critically ill people all at once. I'm not an epidemiologist but I would expect that if shielded people stay isolated for an additional 8 weeks more than the rest of the population, then if the rest of the population go back to normal as far as possible the virus will spread among those who haven't already had it very quickly, but only a very small and manageable fraction of them will get ill enough to require hospital treatment. Once that wave is over and everyone in the general non-vulnerable population has had it and recovered, the shielded and vulnerable population will be much less at risk when they come out of isolation because the vast majority of people they come into contact with will have had it and recovered long enough ago that they are no longer infectious. If it turns out that a vaccine can't be developed then it will continue to be endemic in the population but the majority will have sufficient resistance to be OK. It will kill some people, but the numbers will be low enough that those who are in danger can receive the best possible care from NHS services that aren't overwhelmed and have the resources to give a good chance of survival. Those with underlying conditions will never be completely safe but will have been made safer by managing the spread in this way.

Kazzyhoward Tue 28-Apr-20 11:33:55

I think we'll have a new "normal" where life goes back to how it was, BUT, with some degree of social distancing, respect of personal space, no hand shaking/hugging/kissing people you barely know, catching coughs & sneezes in hankies/tissues, more regular hand washing, and no spitting. Masks on crowded public transport. None of that should be a problem. People will just need to be more mindful of hygiene and less in each others' faces! If we can keep the "critical mass" of people taking such sensible precautions, it will be half the battle won.

Even huge social gatherings would be infinitely safer if people adopted those precautions. I despair when I've been at football matches, or concerts, or theme parks, and there are huge numbers of people leaving the public toilets without washing their hands, people eating food with the fingers from fast food counters after touching money, etc etc. If people did simple things like washing their hands more, such huge social gatherings may be a lot less riskier!

We need some serious public information campaign about personal hygiene. At the moment, because of the lockdown, it's in everyone's mind and most people seem to be making an effort. We need that habit to stay as the norm and not be forgotten as lockdown restrictions ease. The message needs to be "school is open", "more shops are open", BUT you still have to social distance, you still have to wash your hands, you still have to self isolate the moment you get any symptoms, however minor. We're in it for the long haul, so we need a new normal!

MorrisZapp Tue 28-Apr-20 11:34:00

I'm not overly worried. I look at death certificates every day for work, I'm well aware that humans die, usually from medical complications I can't pronounce.

Kazzyhoward Tue 28-Apr-20 11:37:06

if shielded people stay isolated for an additional 8 weeks more than the rest of the population, then if the rest of the population go back to normal as far as possible the virus will spread among those who haven't already had it very quickly, but only a very small and manageable fraction of them will get ill enough to require hospital treatment. Once that wave is over and everyone in the general non-vulnerable population has had it and recovered, the shielded and vulnerable population will be much less at risk when they come out of isolation because the vast majority of people they come into contact with will have had it and recovered long enough ago that they are no longer infectious.

The whole population aren't going to get it within 8 weeks - if they did, the NHS would be over-run again and hundreds of thousands would die. I've seen reports that it could be a year or two for it to spread over the population. There's no way those shielded and highly vulnerable can come out of lockdown until there's a vaccine.

Aposterhasnoname Tue 28-Apr-20 11:37:51

Then it will be treated like flu. Annual vaccinations and a sad reality that some people will die of it every year. But the number of deaths will decrease even with only 60% immunity.

EasterBuns Tue 28-Apr-20 11:54:01

Actually I think worst case is that no vaccine is found. It is a Coronavirus just like the common cold and no vaccine has ever been found for the common cold.

MotheringShites Tue 28-Apr-20 11:56:49

We will have to become more accepting of death. Harsh but true. We can’t stay locked up forever.

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