Covid-19 has transformed the way Americans go about their day-to-day lives, but experts believe they will have to continue to endure the pandemic and dramatically change their working habits.
The US is now the hardest-hit nation on Earth, with the number of confirmed cases now exceeding 3million and its coronavirus death toll standing at more than 133,000.
It is estimated to have roughly one-fifth of all Covid-related deaths in the entire world – followed by Brazil with nearly 70,000 fatalities.
Record-breaking numbers of cases have been recorded over the past few weeks after the US failed to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Footage of packed beaches and parks in the country over the Fourth of July weekend has also sent shivers down the spines of health officials.
US chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci described it as a “serious situation that we need to address immediately”.
The recent surge in cases within the US appears to have been spread by younger people, with the average age of the infected coming down 15 years.
Only four states managed to record a decline in the number of new cases – those being Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
But, a study seen by Daily Star Online showed the coronavirus outbreak could remain in the US for up to two years.
The report, named Covid-19: The CIDRAP Viewpoint, led by Dr Kristine Moore said the pandemic would likely remain in the US for between 18 to 24 months when compared to previous flu pandemics.
It added: “Risk communication messaging from government officials should incorporate the concept that this pandemic will not be over soon and that people need to be prepared for possible periodic resurgences of disease over the next two years.”
While the coronavirus is likely to linger in the US, and the world, for years – there is some hope its severity will wane.
The study continued: “We must be prepared for at least another 18 to 24 months of significant Covid-19 activity, with hot spots popping periodically in diverse geographic areas.
“As the pandemic wanes, it is likely that coronavirus will circulate in the human population and will synchronise to a seasonal pattern with diminished severity over time, as with other less pathogenic coronaviruses, such as betacoronavirus.”
Another report, did however, highlight a “blind spot” was poor ventilation in indoor spaces.
While it admitted that regular handwashing and social distancing were effective behaviours to provide protection, it was “not enough”.
The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) referred to a report published in MedRxiv – an online hub for medical and scientific researchers to host unpublished studies.
CIDRAP said: “They recommend providing effective ventilation of indoor areas, including supplying clean outdoor air, minimising recirculation, and supplementing with local exhaust, high-efficiency air filtration, and germ-killing ultraviolet lights, especially in public buildings, workplaces, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.
“They also advise avoiding crowding, especially on public transportation and in buildings.”
The impact could dramatically change the American way of life, with hundreds of thousands of workplaces, schools, hospitals and homes having to renovate their buildings entirely.