__ months to a vaccine (pick a number). How does it affect your behaviour?

I was talking to our financial advisor on Friday (we’re trying to build a house). He said they are using a four year horizon for a vaccine in their models. Some are hoping for this fall… An article in the times https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/30/opinion/coronavirus-covid-vaccine.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage&action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage thinks it could be longer than that. I don’t want to contemplate “never.”

A lot of people on the Dope and IRL seem to be taking the approach that they can avoid getting Covid-19, and for many it seems like this should be the goal for all, almost no matter what. Unless we see a real vaccine in mass quantities this year, I don’t see how this is possible. I’m curious what folks see in their future if it is in fact 4 years to a vaccine?

I’m in Montana. We have no active cases in our county as of last week. All that means, though, is no hospitalizations since we are testing less than 300 people a day state-wide. Right now life is returning to some kind of normal–stores and restaurants are opening, people are definitely flocking to the trails. However, our economy is at least 50% tourism and Montana State U. I don’t see how either of those resume without real problems before there is a vaccine.

So–does anyone see a viable way through to a vaccine if it’s a few years away? Can we quantify what it means in various scenarios if it takes that long or longer? I don’t even want to think about reinfection.

Most people survive the virus. Of those who don’t we are advancing the success of treatment each and every day going forward. We’ve already learned a great deal about it. Some of the techniques used are quite clever and cost very little.

I don’t really see the pressing need for a vaccine beyond those who are known to be vulnerable to it. They can wear a $2 mask out in public. These are the same people who die from the flu so maybe it will become the norm and cut down on those deaths too.

It would certainly alter what I support politically, or where I think pressure should be applied.

In terms of how we end lockdown, “four years away” is effectively the same as “never,” and I’d want government to explain how they’re going to deal with that.

I’m mildly asthmatic. If it was really going to be 4 years until we had a vaccine, I’d make a concentrated effort to get the virus while we’re in a case lull.

We (as a society) need to contemplate this. I don’t see most people even thinking this considering the mass denial still in play.

There’s definitely a lot of denial at work. There are two dominant camps; the “t’s all a hoax” crowd, who are Darwin’s laws in action, but also the “stay locked down until the vaccine is here” crowd. There is no vaccine, and there is not going to be in any time frame that the economy can remain locked down. No one, at least not in the USA or Canada, seems to have a real plan for the actual situation; we’re gonna have to find a way to live with it, open the economy, and figure out how to minimize the damage the disease causes.

I have no hope, at all of living if I catch the virus. Not even sure if I could handle a vaccine at this time.
If the second wave is bad or long lived I can’t see a way forward for me.
My State is opening up. My family is pulling to get out.
I really don’t know what I’ll do.

I’m one of those people Trump so handily dismissed as “some will die”

That’s kind of where I was going with this. There are so many unknowns about reinfection, treatments and immunity that it probably makes sense to try to delay getting it on a personal level as long as possible. That being said you’d have excellent care in Bozeman MT if you came down with it today. I think I am trying to wrap my head around what 2-3000 people dying per day for X many years looks like, and since I’m only 52 I’ve really got no precedent.

Hopefully not getting too political here but let’s just accept Trump is an idiot and a callous jerk. He’s still right about that.

No matter what some will die. Saving everyone is not an option on the table.

And under all scenarios you are at risk.

Opening widely in an uncontrolled way not tightly monitoring would put you at huge risk. Trying to not open at all tries to kick the can down the road indefinitely but won’t be adhered to. It has huge costs in lives beyond COVID-19 deaths and end of day maybe more from the disease itself if it results in a bigger wave synchronized with influenza in the late Fall.

The discussion cannot be between those two poles but over how to open in a controlled way knowing that yes some will die, and trying to keep that number end of the whole course and its aftermaths as low as possible and with as good of quality of life as possible.

There is no guarantee there will ever be an effective vaccine. This could be a yearly mutating thing that piggybacks off the flu. Do I think effective treatments will happen that will lessen the amount of people that die? Yeah probably.

An effective vaccine is a hope, not a guarantee. I do not think we should base policy around game changers that haven’t materialized yet.

Most places have not had the overwhelming crush of cases that overflowed the hospitals. Things got terribly bad in NYC but the majority of urban centers have avoided it.

Here in Canada, really only Montreal got bad in terms of overwhelming health care. Every where else, there’s plenty of room, so governments are (albeit slowly, inconsistently, and not always in ways that make sense) freeing things up.

What I don’t know anything they can do about is really old people. Almost 90% of people who have died of this in Ontario and Quebec are senior citizens. Locking old people up for literal years, unable to have physical contact with their families, strikes me as being impossibly cruel, but I don’t know what else they can do. In some places the impact of COVID-19 was scarcely less devastating than if an airplane had crashed into the building. In one place in Bobcaygeon it killed 29 people in a week and a half. In another in Montreal, 31 people died. Letting the virus in to a nursing home is like letting bombs in. Long after the rest of us can go back the restaurants, stores and football games, it’s likely old folks will still be locked away.

As remarked above, there’s no way that the current state of affairs can continue for years. Aside from the economic issues, people simply won’t tolerate that. Hell, it’s only been a month and a half, and some places in the US are already seeing armed protesters. 4 years? No way.

Absent a vaccine, what to do? Well, we’ll each have to make a call on that for ourselves. What level of risk can we tolerate? What level of isolation can we tolerate? And how do those numbers evolve over time?

I’ve got asthma, so getting this disease would probably be very bad for me, so personally, I’m locking down for as long as I can stand. Not absolute lockdown, I still need to shop for groceries and such, but I’m definitely planning on using things like curbside pickup and delivery when possible, and wearing a mask if I have to go into a store.

Work wise, I’m able to work at home full time, in fact I did that for about 3 years not too long ago, and have been doing that again since early March. I’ve already told my boss that, absent a vaccine, I plan to do this for the foreseeable future. I expect my bosses will accommodate that, but if they push back, I’m prepared to use every tool at my disposal to drag the argument out for as long as possible, to buy time for vaccine research if nothing else.

Social issues then become the biggest problem for me. I do miss going out to the pub on Fridays. I do miss going to the dojo and swinging swords. I’ll probably just have to suck it up and deal with that, though. Maybe host a BBQ where I have more control over the situation, instead of going to the pub.

Vacation wise, I’ve already been limiting my vacation options because I haven’t wanted to travel to the US since Trump was elected. I’ll continue that. I just need to expand it to any non-essential travel. We’ve got a family cottage I can go to if I really need a get-away.

And what if there’s never a vaccine? Well, at some point, enough other people will have gotten it to introduce some herd immunity. That makes it possible to relax some of my self-imposed limits, since it reduces the probability of exposure. I’ll periodically re-evaluate both the risk, and my tolerance for risk, and act accordingly.

That’s my plan, anyways. Everyone needs to stop and think about this a bit.

Lets stop and look at this for a minute. What do Montreal and New York have in common? Subways. If, and I say IF, the main way it travels is via airborne transmission then we focus on that. Staying at home doesn’t do anything if people are using something like transportation that is conducive to spreading it. In this case, it’s not the 6 foot rule that does anything, it’s people in an enclosed area not wearing masks.

If it’s mainly airborne then masks probably do more than staying at home. It’s just a matter of time before we can map out the whole planet’s travel pattern through phone tracking and then we’ll see how the virus is moving and then factor in how many people are wearing masks in their daily transit.

My reaction does change depending on the length of time till a vaccine is available, but a simpler formation is contemplating what I’ll do if there’s never a vaccine — and then saying my reaction runs along a sliding scale.

If there’s never a vaccine,* or an effective treatment*, then I play damn careful and hope 60% of the population gets the virus before I do, and then I escape due to herd immunity. I continue being careful, but probably not quite as careful.

The pandemic could abate or become less serious through a vaccine, effective treatment, herd immunity, seasonal change and/or contact tracing. And better social precautions.

I’m playing it by ear, but generally want the government to place more emphasis on the power of prevention. Masks. Isolation. Testing. Personal distance. The current federal policy of downplaying those factors encourages the yahoos who endanger a lot of people other than themselves.

I agree. We don’t need to make this political anymore than the Federal government already has.
But, regardless I feel each and every death as much as I would if it was an Asteroid plummeting to earth or a war on our shores. It’s a crisis.
I’m afraid things will get worse and time is running out for people who need to work or people, like me, who are vulnerable medically.
We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I’m apparently one of the less vulnerable. Every time a new article comes out saying “this group is more likely to die” or “that group is more likely to survive,” I’m in “that group.” The thought has crossed my mind that, at some point, if no vaccine is forthcoming but those who have had the disease appear to be immune, it might behoove me and the general population for me to get it and get it over with. We’re not at that point, even though the curve seems to have flattened out a bit where I live. And obviously, even if I’m not showing symptoms, I’m going to want to consider myself infected and stay away from vulnerable people, and once I start showing symptoms I’m going to want to quarantine myself entirely. But there may come a time when I’ll stop trying to avoid infection, in hopes of becoming part of the immune herd protecting those who wouldn’t survive. I can’t say exactly how many months away that point is. At least a few more.

The cynical part of me looks at all the Coronavirus vaccines science has produced so far. Unless I’m missing something, that number remains zero. I expect the same for this virus. At best, there will eventually be some type of treatment to lessen the effects, but I expect it’s a binary survival choice for the next few years.

So I’ll take the responsible steps to minimize carrying it to others, but I’m going on with life as best I can. My bucket list is less of an abstract concept now.

I think there’s a canine coronavirus vaccine. And most human coronaviruses so far have just caused the common cold, so there hasn’t been quite the same incentive. (I’ve always said if there were a vaccine against any of the common cold viruses, I’d get it, but I’ve always been in the minority there.) So I don’t think it’s unrealistic to hope. But the timetable is more likely to be years rather than months.

Eventually, we’re going to have to start following the CDC guidelines, which are neither “it’s all a hoax and it doesn’t matter anyway because it’s China’s fault”, nor “lock down everything until there’s a vaccine”. We should have been following the CDC’s guidelines right from the start, but a lot of folks thought “if reaction to the virus is good, then overreaction must be even better”.

What’s going to make a bigger difference than the vaccine, and which will definitely happen, is widespread testing. South Korea doesn’t have a vaccine any more than anywhere else in the world, but they’ve been weathering the disease much better than most countries, because they’ve been doing widespread testing right from the start. What they’ve done, all other countries can do. Once you have widespread testing, you can target measures at the disease, while still leaving healthy people at work.

As I suspect you know that idiom has its origin in the Odyssey with Odysseus having to navigate his ship between Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla got six of his men, IOW some died, but he made through without Charybdis taking the whole ship with him and his whole crew down, to deal with disasters yet to come.

Not moving forward was not an option. He navigated as best he could.

South Korea indeed has a death rate of under 5/million but is it sustainable for many months let alone years or indefinitely? Is it achievable in a country with over a million identified active cases and likely many many times more unidentified?

Their approach is not just “widespread testing.”

The relatively few entering the country are quarantined for two weeks. Asymptomatic contacts are quarantined at home. Those moderately sick are placed in isolation dorms. They are not on lock down but cultural norms and memory of MERS lead to strong compliance effecting very similar behaviors. Without official lock down and case numbers and death low they are still in the midst of their “most severe contraction since the 2008 financial crisis”. Schools are “open” but only as virtual classrooms starting with older students. Kindergarten and daycares are closed indefinitely. Of course college is now on-line only, and the entrance testing for next year is going to be delayed.

Can even they they stay essentially cut off from the rest of the world and under that level of control, with that lack of normal social contact and interactions, indefinitely, waiting for the possibility of a safe and effective vaccine that is sure to be just over the horizon? If not then what happens?

Could the United States?