I'm not either a pessimist or optimist, I try and stay with reason and make decisions as an engineer does. From this, the self isolation and social distancing needs to start as soon as 1st cases are noted, then run for around 3 months. That significantly blunts the % of the population with it during the contagious period, viruses do tend to peak and then dissipate. So this massive disruption will go for 3 to 4 months from now, then start to fill back in. Upthread, I think it was CX is now increasing flights from Hong Kong. This is about 2 months after the big clamp down.
The need for freight and its revenue may bring some routes back. Those flights with full bellies going to/from say the 11 US airports could carry about half a cabin of passengers with a decent amount of social distancing. If each 2 or 3 seat group of seats only had one set of passengers that booked together in it, or for the wider center banks of 4 or 5 seats placed 2 empty seats between would get nearly 3 feet of distance rather than almost touching. Add in some PPE such as gloves and masks for both pax and crew it would be a lot better. A good advert department could bring up the "we guarantee an empty seat by yours" would draw traffic from the competition.
You’re 100% correct. To bad a lot of people, here in the US, are not listening to that. Just yesterday wrigleyville in Chicago had its annual St. Patty’s pub crawl with thousands from people. And I cannot tell you how many people I know or see on social media are still vacationing, going out to bars etc.
Unfortunately for a good chunk of people here, it literally takes them getting impacted or a loved on before they realize ok, I have to stay home. And even then, some people refuse to believe it.