Yes, we’re all champing at the bit to be allowed out to play again.  Day after day on the Coronavirus update we listen to the same tired old questions as to when lock-down will be lifted.  Every time comes the reply that we’re not through the woods yet.

The summer is just around the corner here in the UK, and the days are gradually becoming warmer.  By the end of May if we’re still in lock-down I’m sure some people will be ready to make themselves an exception to the rule.  After all, they’ve sat indoors since the middle of March, and as far as they’re concerned, they need to get outside.  However, before they do, they need to remember a few things:

Coronavirus is one of 7 types of virus that are related to the common cold and which have adapted to enter and damage the cells that line the respiratory tract.  Each of these 7 types of viruses have sub-virus branches known as serotypes, of which there are about 200.

This proliferation of serotypes is probably the main reason why there has never been a cure found for the common cold, as producing many single-serotype vaccines, each one targeting a different strain, is totally impractical.  Antibodies produced for one virus serotype will not detect the rest.

In my opinion, Coronavirus is here to stay, and we just need to be a bit more mindful on how to avoid catching it.  Just because the lock-down gets lifted, it doesn’t mean that the virus has been sent packing. Like the common cold, it will be around for many years to come until a scientist one day stumbles upon a cure.

Little things like washing hands more frequently and coughing and sneezing into a tissue can help keep the spread under control, as can isolating yourself if you have a germ instead of going to work and ‘toughing it out’, thereby not infecting others.  We are going to have to make lifestyle changes and get used to thinking of the global effect of our actions and not just about our own selfish wants and needs.  We cannot stay in lock-down indefinitely because the economy will collapse, and so we will have to learn to live with Coronavirus instead, because it’s not going away any time soon.  Social distancing is not always practical, but should be considered if at all possible to help avoid a second tidal wave of infections.

Let’s hope we all have a happy and healthy summer.  x

Image by Miroslava Chrienova from Pixabay