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Hugs will never return, say epidemiologists

June 10, 2020

How long does it take for normal activities to resume after the pandemic? The specialists participated in a survey and some say that they will never be this close to people again.

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Hugs will never return, say epidemiologistsHugs will never return, say epidemiologists


Could you spend the rest of your life without hugging or shaking hands with someone you don’t know too well? You will be surprised at what some epidemiologists think. An expert group was asked about the estimated time it would take to resume 20 activities that were common before the coronavirus pandemic started. 6% estimate that hugs will never return to their lives.

Unless there is an effective vaccine or treatment that does not change the prognosis, 42% of respondents said it would take more than a year for them to have such close contact with another person.

Something similar happened with regard to attending a wedding or funeral, going out with someone you don’t know well, going to church, and attending services.

To stop using face masks, 52% wait longer than a year and 64% leave this time for sporting events or concerts.

These results come from a New York Times survey of 511 epidemiologists. “The worst victim of the pandemic is loss of human contact,” said Eduardo Franco of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Others, such as Carl Phillips from Epiphi Consulting, analyzed this situation as an advantage. “I’ve always hated these unnecessary pathogen exchanges and unwanted touches,” he said.

Back to normal

Activities that take anywhere from three months to a year to return to normal include attending a small party, sending kids to school, working in the office with other people, traveling by subway, on the bus or plane, visiting older family members or friends, eating in restaurants or going to the gym.

As summer approached in the northern hemisphere, many specialists replied that there are activities that will be carried out again in the next three months. Among them, 64% will handle the correspondence without restrictions and 60% will go to the doctor for non-urgent matters. More than half also said that they are allowed to go on vacation by car.