PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – One of the best defenses against COVID-19 has been social distancing.

However, a new study from the Harvard University School of Public Health says that we may be social distancing for years to come.

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“If the virus is around in a few people and we aren’t imposing control measures, it will resurge,” said Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiology professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “If we could get a vaccine that would be a total game-changer. That’s a long way off, probably, almost certainly a year.”

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The researchers say they used what is known about COVID-19 and possible scenarios for the current pandemic and believe that it poses serious threats to the public. They conclude that social distancing and school closures may be needed intermittently through 2022.

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Lipsitch, one of the authors of the study, said that sports are also going to be affected by these measures.

“It’s pretty unlikely that there’s going to be sports with spectators in the stands this fall and winter, you know, I really hope to be wrong,” he said.”

He also noted that predictions to the pandemic being over by summer are not consistent with what they know.

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