“Coronavirus is going to be with us for at least another couple of years until we get an effective vaccine that is widely available and distributed,” said Peter Collignon, Professor of Microbiology at the Australian National University.
“If we think the virus isn’t there, and go back to how we behaved in 2019, that’s a recipe for it to spread rapidly.” Professor Collignon pointed to Auckland’s recent outbreak as an example of how COVID-19 can come back when least expected.
WHY HAVE SOME OF US DROPPED OUR GUARD?
The days when a major health crisis didn’t cast a shadow over almost every aspect of our routine seem like half a lifetime ago.
In reality, it was less than a half a year ago — March 11 to be exact — when the World Health Organization officially declared coronavirus a pandemic.
Hands up if you’ve had enough already?
“It’s understandable that people will get fatigued and won’t be as disciplined about following the guidelines, especially if it hasn’t directly affected them,” said Robert Booy, from the National Centre for Immunization Research and Surveillance. “But this is not something hypothetical … it’s a highly dangerous disease which is something very real.”
In case you are suffering from Coronavirus fatigue, here’s a refresher on some key steps to take to reduce your chances of catching the virus:
SOCIAL DISTANCING IS STILL OUR MOST EFFECTIVE WEAPON – stay 1.5m away
THOROUGHLY WASH YOUR HANDS – remember singing “Happy Birthday” as you wash? That’s how long it takes!
WEAR A MASK – it’s a good idea
STAY AWAY FROM CROWDED SOCIAL GATHERINGS – maximum groups of 10 at pubs and restaurants, 20 at your house
STAY HOME IF YOU ARE UNWELL – don’t soldier on!
This is our new norm for another year at least. Even though some states and territories are getting some semblance of pre-pandemic life, our coronavirus hygiene measures could be here for the foreseeable future.
“Recent evidence shows that we can catch coronavirus for a second time, although probably less severely,” Professor Booy said.
“There’s still no accurate way of predicting through blood test, or physical examination, whether you’re going to get coronavirus badly or not, apart from those chronic medical conditions, which makes things so unpredictable.” Professor Collignon added: “A vaccine isn’t likely to available until the middle or end of next year at the earliest, so we all just need to take these basic precautions.”