VUMC doctor breaks down ‘new normal’ as some states begin opening businesses


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — When will we be able to get back to normal life? It is a question many of us have, but it’s hard to tell, especially as we continue to see more positive cases of COVID-19 each week.

“I think we are on the 20 yard line, but we have 80 to go,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “The goal is at the other end of the field.”

Dr. Schaffner is confident we will get through this, but it won’t be quick.

“Normal life I think will be a new normal for the foreseeable future,” said Dr. Schaffner. “Social distancing will still be the standard and that includes that fashion-forward item the mask, which I think we all are all going to be wearing for quite some time.”

As states start to ease restrictions, Dr. Schaffner says people need to continue to follow the guidelines in place, staying inside as much as you can and staying at least 6 feet apart. As for some of the activities we all enjoy like concerts and sporting events, he says those will have to wait. 

“Large group activities that we used to participate in, religious services, concerts, athletic events I think they ought to be down the road for us,” said Schaffner.

There are now 13,502 positive COVID-19 cases in Tennessee, a number that has increased each week.

The realization that to stop the spread we must stay apart is hard to take in for many people, but Dr. Schaffner says it is crucial to stopping the spread.

“All interactions as we come out of our houses open the opportunity for spread, so the trick is to do it carefully,” said Schaffner.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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