Survey reveals how long it will take to resume previously habitual activities

A total of 511 epidemiologists participated in a consultation by The New York Times about the time they estimate it will take to return to 20 activities that were common before the pandemic.

According to the consultation, unless there is an effective vaccine or treatment that modifies the forecasts, 42% of the respondents stated that it will be more than a year until they have close contact with another person again, while 6% said. that some actions, such as hugging and shaking hands, will no longer be done in your life.

To stop using face masks, 52 percent will also wait more than a year, and 64 percent will spend that time going to sports events or concerts.

Other activities that may take time before resuming are attending weddings and funerals, going out with someone you don't know well or going to churches and witnessing religious services.

"The worst victim of the pandemic is loss of human contact," said Eduardo Franco of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

According to the majority consulted, another group of activities will take between three months and a year to return to normal. These include attending a small party, sending children to school, going to work in the office with other people, traveling by subway, bus or plane, visiting older family or friends, eating in restaurants or going to the gym.

"As much as I hate working at home, I think being in a shared interior space is the most dangerous thing we can do," said Sally Picciotto of the University of California, Berkeley (USA).

The specialist is part of the 18% who announced that they will wait more than a year to resume their activities indoors with other people.

"Fresh air, sun, socialization and healthy activity will be as important to my mental health as physical well-being," said Anala Gossai, a scientist at health technology firm Flatiron Health.

What activities can be resumed in the next three months?

Certain activities will be carried out again in the next three months, said the specialists consulted.

Among them, 64 percent will handle correspondence without restrictions and 60 percent will go to the doctor for non-urgent matters. More than half also expressed that they will be allowed to take vacations that they can go by car.

Finally, there was an issue that generated controversy about the risk involved, such as going to a salon to cut your hair. Although 41% responded that it will do so this summer, 39% said it will wait at least three months.

According to T. Christopher Bond of Bristol Myers Squibb: "The world has changed and will be different for a long time. This is the crisis of our life and we have to accept it."