As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, published information has concentrated on measures needed to detect and isolation cases and implementing social distancing.
These are obviously extremely important actions but what is yet to be published is a manual on what we will do on the other side.
There is no rule book for this situation. Nobody was prepared , therefore, it will depend on trial and error, in a process in which governments will learn from failures and successes, both their own and those of others.
Since confinement, both citizens and authorities and researchers have their sights set on how they will return to normal. Sources insist that it will depend on how the pandemic progresses and how it can be controlled or eradicated.
It will take time to go back to anything that could be perceived as normal life. Once the transmission levels are low enough, the return will be gradual, allowing more activities but with strict vigilance. The example being China, who thought they had a lid on the situation but once tried to return to normal, the virus has hit again.
It may also be the case that it will be a different transition for everyone. It is likely that older people or those with certain pathologies will have to prolong their confinement more than healthy young people.
Or people who have already survived the disease and, supposedly, have immunisation, can join a normal life sooner after passing an antibody test. It is something that countries like Germany or the United Kingdom are studying.
This would be especially useful in healthcare, where knowing which professionals have passed the COVID-19 would be crucial to pose the answer.
There is the understanding that for the entire month of April the containment measures will continue. The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced on Saturday that he will extend the State of Alarm until April 26 and that, in one way or another, it looks to continue further.
The first step, he assured, will be to return to the first measures starting on the 11th, recovering the non-essential activities that were canceled a week ago. Most of the experts consulted are also optimistic that soon they may allow sporadic and solitary outings, as well as taking children out on the street as has happened in Italy.
The coming week will be key to know the progress of the pandemic and check the resistance of the ICUs at the most critical moment. With this information in hand, it will probably be outlined to what extent and when restrictions such as this will be relaxed. “Some way out must be given: young children cannot stay home that long, or they and their parents will go crazy,” stressed The Health Minister, Salvador Illa.
Just as not everyone stopped working at the same time, not everyone will return to their jobs at the same time. The criterion would always be that we could do those things that bring us as close to normal as possible and that can be done while maintaining a certain social distance.
The return to social life as we knew it is perhaps the most difficult point to make for public health specialists. They insist that it will depend on the evolution of the disease, the ability to carry out tests and to thoroughly control each suspected case in case they have to be isolated. A widespread opinion is that perhaps, to begin with, it will be necessary to reduce the capacity of establishments.
With regards to a Summer “It will not be normal at all because tourism will not recover,” states Illa. Can we go to the beach? The further away the forecasts are, the more difficult it is to make a decision, but the majority opinion is yes. It is reasonable to think that people will be able to enjoy many outdoor leisure environments, including the beach, as long as it is not overcrowded.