What can be done – short of another lockdown – to corral COVID?

immunity
Credit: Amanda Northrop/Vox/Getty Images

The virus suppression gains earned through the painful societal shutdowns of March, April, and May — the flattened epidemiological curves — have been squandered in many parts of the country, dejected public health experts agree. A vaccine for the masses is still months away. What can be done?

Turn the clock back

Pent-up people embraced newfound freedoms over-exuberantly, [Anthony] Fauci said. He suggests going back to Phase 1 of the reopening process and then working forward with more caution. “Do it the way they should have done it in the beginning,” he said.

“If we do that, particularly closing the bars, avoiding anything that has a congregation of a large number of people, wearing masks outside essentially all the time, keep distancing … I would almost guarantee that we would see a turnaround of the resurgence that we’re seeing now.”

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Consistent consistency

Enough with the “but the flu” and “it’s getting better” and “it’s going to go away on its own” talk. There needs to be consistent communications from all levels of government about the risk the virus poses, said Alessandro Vespignani, director of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University.

“I know it sounds trivial,” Vespignani said, “but I have the feeling that is impossible to win the fight if a large fraction of the population is not believing there is something to fight.”

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