Coronavirus 6 months later: Business owner, medical experts hope for pandemic solutions within another 6 months

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BRIDGEWATER, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 15: A sign promoting drive-thru coronavirus (COVID-19) tests at CVS Pharmacy on May 15, 2020 in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Nine CVS locations began providing coronavirus tests in Massachusetts, issuing self swab tests to people by appointment. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) via CBS Boston.

Six months ago, the U.S. had its first confirmed case of community spread of the coronavirus. By mid-March, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered bars to close. Six months and more then 5.8 million U.S. coronavirus cases later, business owners like Susan Filkins are just starting to recover.

“The end of February I was running a successful, very thriving business,” said Filkins, owner of the corner bar Hawgz & Dawgz. “I am currently working on getting the food license that will allow me to reopen. And from what I understand, they are expediting a lot of that stuff.”

But Filkins still worries about the future.

“I hope to see, in six months, all of our seasonal people come back, because we have a lot of seasonal customers here,” she said.”I think my bar will survive, but not for another six months. Fingers crossed, hoping for something good to happen.”

Some experts believe good news is approaching. Dr. David Rubin, director of PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, believes the country only needs to get past the winter.

“By late winter, I think we’re going to have an opportunity to recover if people do this well,” Rubin said. “Sometime next summer or late summer we’re going to be in a much more favorable position than we are now.”

But, he added, we cannot let up on public masking or social distancing practices.

“We have to find that middle ground,” he said.

Many doctors say the one way to truly limit community spread of the coronavirus is with a vaccine, which could be made available as early as the end of the year.

A graph displaying the fall in positive COVID-19 cases in Florida going into the end of August. Credit: WINK News

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