Could we eliminate Covid-19? New study says it’s possible, if some portion of the population keeps practicing social distancing

Getty Images via Florida Atlantic University

Some experts have said Covid-19 will become an endemic disease, like the flu, that may require annual vaccinations. But a study published in the Journal of Biological Dynamics says eliminating it is possible if some unknown percentage of the population practices social distancing.

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Florida created a model that allowed them to see how economic growth interacts with human behavior and the spread of infectious diseases, and compared the results with those from a model that examined human behavior and infectious diseases but left out economics.

Including economic growth showed greater potential for eliminating Covid-19. According to the model that did not include it, the only way the disease could be eliminated would be if everyone practiced social distancing. The second model showed that, when “the economy is stronger than social norms,” the disease could be eliminated by a portion of the population practicing social distancing “at the expense of the economy.” However, the study did not suggest what percentage of the population would be need to socially distance for this to work. For the full study, click here.

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