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According to an interview with the New York Times, health expert Dr. Ezekel Emanuel, who worked on the Affordable Care Act, says that because of the global coronavirus pandemic, small businesses such as nail salons and restaurants may reopen soon, but the likelihood of large gatherings being allowed is slim to none.

Dr. Emanuel says, “Certain kinds of construction, or manufacturing or offices, in which you can maintain six-foot distances are more reasonable to start sooner.” He added, “Larger gatherings conferences, concerts, sporting events when people say they’re going to reschedule this conference or graduation event for October 2020, I have no idea how they think thats a plausible possibility. I think those things will be the last return. Realistically we’re talking fall 2021 at the earliest.”

Emanuel also touched on the socio-economic impact on communities and society as a whole. “Yes, some of these service industries will eventually come back. But they are wipes out for a lot of people who were in them,” he said. “And so I do think the sort of negative consequences; deaths from drugs, alcohol, suicide, may in fact, come back to haunt us.”

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Dr. Emanuel also added that small steps such as summer school and camps are necessary spaces that will help to get children socially and academically integrated back to going to school again.

With social distancing guidelines steadily increasing and newfound research that has proven that the coronavirus is more contagious than previously discovered, no one can really say when or even if society will return to normal again.