According to scientists at the University of Minnesota, the coronavirus pandemic is likely to last for 18 – 24 months. The researchers believe that COVID-19 will continue circulating after this initial wave.

In a report published Thursday out of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), researchers lay out three possible ways the coronavirus could continue to spread over the course of the next two years. One way the virus could continue to spread over the 18 – 24 month period is by “a series of repetitive smaller waves” beginning this spring and summer and slowly diminishing over the course of two years. Another scenario would be a large wave hitting in fall or winter 2020 followed by a smaller wave in 2021. This pattern apparently mirrors the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic which spread in similar waves. The final scenario was what they called the “slow burn” which would be a slow transmission of the virus without a clear wave pattern.