hile US President Donald Trump has signaled that the wants things to go back to normal in 15 days, a Chinese expert on infectious diseases has warned the world that there is still a long battle ahead.
Professor Zhang Wenhong, leader of Shanghai’s Covid-19 team and director of the infectious diseases department at Fudan University’s Huashan Hospital, was recently invited by the Chinese consulate in Düsseldorf, Germany to speak via telecom to an audience of mostly Chinese students and expatriates.
No end in sight
Zhang warned the audience not to think that the coronavirus pandemic would come to an end soon in Europe, predicting that it may be another year or two before this whole thing is over.
He predicted that while cases will fall off into the summer, they will reappear in the winter and there will be another, smaller, peak next spring.
The cycle could then be repeated again, depending on how the world’s governments react.
Unless the world stops moving
Zhang noted the difficulties of trying to contain a global pandemic, pointing towards China’s current situation where it has contained the spread of the virus domestically but now must remain alert for cases arriving from abroad.
He also brought up the possibility of the virus shifting from the northern to southern hemisphere as the seasons change with cases being transported back and forth.
Zhang suggested that the only way the pandemic could be stopped in the short term is through coordinated global action to keep the people of the world from moving and traveling for four weeks, a possibility that he dismissed as unrealistic.
“Only if the whole world agrees to stop moving for four weeks, the pandemic might be contained,” he said. “But I cannot imagine that ever possibly happening.”
The professor’s comments have gone viral on Weibo where netizens are wondering when they will all be allowed to go back to school, if next year’s Spring Festival will be similarly ruined, and if they will ever get to take off their face masks.
“From now on, we will always have to wear a mask,” wrote one.