Viewpoint: Here’s what a win against the coronavirus looks like. It’s not pretty

screenshot organizations take precautions in the midst of coronavirus pandemic
Credit: Ted Warren / Associated Press

If you’ve been marking the pandemic by the pileup of cautious reopenings and rescheduled events, you might think that an end to this global disaster is in sight. … There’s just one problem: if anyone says that they know exactly when this pandemic will be over, they are lying.

No one can see the future. The virus is an unknown player, and the best minds on Earth can’t do more than make educated guesses about what comes next and when. Hell, we didn’t even notice the blood clot situation until just recently. 

What does a win look like? It will take widespread tests of everyone who might be sick and careful quarantining of anyone who tests positive. It will take armies of contact tracers to trace down anyone who might have been exposed. These low-tech interventions are the best thing we’ve got while we give researchers the time they need to come up with other solutions.

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When the numbers of tests go up and confirmed cases and deaths go down, then our playbook will change. But it won’t be the end of the fight — not yet.

We need politicians who will stop telling us the comforting things we want to hear and start acting to keep as many of us alive as possible.

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