• Dr. Fauci believes that coronavirus safety measures like mandatory masks will remain necessary through 2022.
  • A noted epidemiologist recently said that the next three months will be the “darkest of the entire pandemic.” With colder weather approaching, experts are anticipating a huge increase in new coronavirus cases.
  • Over the weekend, more than a dozen states reported a record number of new coronavirus infections.

As the coronavirus continues to spread like wildfire across the country, it’s become overwhelmingly clear that the world isn’t going to return to normal for quite some time. If anything, the next few weeks, according to medical experts, could prove to be worse than anything we’ve seen yet. Especially with colder weather already hitting most areas of the country, not to mention the arrival of flu season, it stands to reason that we’re going to see a massive spike in new coronavirus infections and associated deaths over the next 2-3 months.

To this point, Michael Osterholm, a prominent infectious disease doctor who works at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said that the next 6 to 12 weeks “are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.”

“Friday, we had 70,000 cases,” Osterholm said during a recent appearance on Meet The Press, “matching the largest number we had seen back during the really serious peak in July. That number, we’re going to blow right through that. And between now and the holidays, we will see numbers much, much larger than even the 67,000 to 75,000 cases.”

With the worst seemingly yet to come, you might naturally be wondering when life might revert back to normal. Touching on this topic, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that a coronavirus vaccine won’t necessarily be a cure-all and that some coronavirus safety measures — such as mask-wearing — may persist well into 2022.

“It’s not going to be the way it was with polio and measles,” Fauci said, “where you get a vaccine, case closed, it’s done. It’s going to be public-health measures that linger for months and months. You’re not going to have a profound degree of herd immunity for a considerable period of time, maybe toward the end of 2021, into 2022. I feel very strongly that we’re going to need to have some degree of public-health measures to continue. Maybe not as stringent as they are right now.”

The reality is that the first incarnation of a coronavirus vaccine may only be effective 50-60% of the time. On top of that, nearly 50% of Americans have indicated that they wouldn’t even take a coronavirus vaccine due to concerns regarding unexpected side-effects. As a result, herd immunity against the coronavirus, according to Dr. Fauci, could take a very long time.

As to when a vaccine might see the light of day and receive FDA approval, Fauci last month said we’ll have a better idea about a timeline by November or December.

“Given the rate of infection that is going on in this country and the distribution of the clinical trial sites involving tens of thousands of volunteers,” Fauci explained last month, “we project that we will have an answer as to whether or not we have a safe and effective vaccine by November or December of this year.”

“We are cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine that would be safe and effective by the end of this year,” Fauci added, “and we’ll be able to distribute doses at the end of this year and throughout the beginning and middle of 2021.”

Of course, it’s important to remember that an effective coronavirus vaccine is by no means a guarantee. Recall that Johnson & Johnson halted the biggest Phase 3 trial for a coronavirus vaccine last week after a subject came down with an “unexplained illness.”

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.