By elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy. -George Carlin
Question #92995 posted on 03/19/2020 11:24 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How long is social distancing/quarantining due to the coronavirus likely to last? When will things go back to normal? I've heard everything from a few months to a year.

-My Name Here


Dear Friend,

I don't know. Even the experts don't know for sure. There are a lot of factors that play into it, and it's all very unpredictable. Because the CDC is recommending postponing/cancelling events scheduled for the next 8 weeks, I would say you should count on moderate social distancing being in force for at least 2 months. Perhaps 3, to be safe. In the next two weeks or so we'll see for sure whether or not we have effectively flattened the curve, and slow adjustments will likely happen after that. 

However, even if we're allowed out of social isolation, we're going to NEED to keep washing our hands and being extremely conscientious, because the virus isn't going to just disappear, and at-risk populations will still be... at-risk. And people will still die, even if we get past the phase where we're doubling infected cases every 3 days. 

Plus, "normal" isn't really a great way to describe what's going to happen after this either. The economic downfall of social distancing across the globe is going to be... at the very least, bad. At worst, catastrophic. So even when we're allowed to go back to school and work, things won't be "normal". But we'll figure out what the new "normal" is and it'll be okay. To return to "normal" definitely might take years. 

Of course, I wish I knew more because I was *supposed* to be getting married in 6 weeks so this whole thing sucks worse than just being stuck at home. This whole thing royally sucks. (At the same time, I also acknowledge that to have to worry about a wedding at all is a great blessing, and that this is mostly just a huge inconvenience for me, and not a direct threat to my life. Which is, of course, a great privilege. Even though I am still allowed to be really upset by my plans getting screwed up. I don't know why I'm going on about this.)