What can we expect from the “new normality”? The Spatial Simulation research group developed the COVID-19 ABM model to evaluate alternative scenarios for the greater region of the City of Salzburg:

COVID-19 scenarios

4 scenarios for the “new normality”

    1. Continue the lockdown (yellow): this is the most effective intervention, but comes with hardly manageable social and economic restrictions that would last several months until full regional eradication.
    2. Relax the lockdown (red) in a step-wise approach, like the plan laid out by the Austrian government. This scenario eventually will result in a second outbreak.
    3. Adaptive management (blue) in this scenario, select lockdown restrictions are put back into place regionally, if necessary to avoid a second outbreak.
    4. Intensify contact tracing (green) to support the step-wise relaxation of the lockdown. Intensive contact tracing with the support of an app (like the “Stop Corona” app by the Austrian Red Cross) will allow to come back to high levels of social activities.

Herd immunity will not develop within the next few years. Simulations show that after 2 years, only about 5% of the population will be immune. By then we can hope that a vaccine will be available. Decision makers thus will have to balance between general interventions that apply to everybody and targeted containment that isolates only persons, who were in contact with infected persons. While the latter allows most of the population to come back to high levels of social and economic activity, it comes with severe privacy issues.

The source code of the model is published on COMSES under an open license:

Wallentin, Gudrun (2020, April 21). “COVID-19 ABM” (Version 1.0.1). CoMSES Computational Model Library. Retrieved from: CoMSES Open ABM model library