How to beat this

What’s killing me is we know how.  Most every other modern nation (and plenty of not-as-modern) has already done so.  It’s not rocket science.  It just takes some real political leadership (ughh, that), clear science communication, and a commitment of the citizens.  Damn– we’re screwed.

But, still, total lockdowns are simply off the table.  And we don’t need them.  European countries locked down hard.  In some cases, even severe limits on being outside to walk your dog, etc.  We know, now, that was overkill.  We don’t have to totally shutdown.  What we do have to do is be consistent and near universal with some key steps.  John Harwood summed up a recent study on twitter:

“If people washed hands regularly, wore masks, and kept social distance from each other, these 3 simple behaviors could stop most all of the Covid-19 pandemic, even w/out vaccine or additional treatments, according to new study in journal PLoS Medicine.”

We can do that!

Andy Slavitt (a must-follow for the Covid-concerned) with a great thread arguing we can absolutely beat this and get back to kind-normal if we just go at it hard for 4-6 weeks (again, ummm, political leadership).  Here’s his proposed “kitchen sink” to throw at it:

I just don’t see us locking down that hard, period. But I’m inclined to think that universal mask wearing could do more of the hard work than many give it credit for (especially the universal wearing of surgical masks, which are widely available now).  But, again, almost surely too late for that because of some bad science communication early and some truly awful messaging from Republican elites for far too long.

So, I actually think a few simple things could do this.  Shut down (and bail out!) any place people gather indoors and don’t wear masks (yes, that means you restaurants and bars).  Shut down any place people gather indoors in large numbers for significant time (sorry, theaters, etc.).  And, mandate (with teeth it) mask wearing any time people are indoors anywhere with people who are not in their household.  If we did all that, I don’t think we’d have to ban transit and interstate travel.

But, the likelihood we’ll have the political leadership to pull this off?  Ummm.  Hopefully we’ll be getting some good news on monoclonal antibodies soon :-).

And, because if you read this far, you are a Covid-interested person and I don’t feel like another tweet, here’s a great thread from Richard Corsi on best approaches for keeping universities safe:

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to How to beat this

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    With the “Know Nothing” ideals alive and thriving in these days of Trumpian rule, we can’t expect leadership that will do what is necessary to control this virus. It’s time to get over the idea that government can’t do anything right. It’s time to get past the idea that “common sense” can solve our problems. It’s time to recognize that no one can know everything so at some point we have to respect and rely on experts. Anti-elitism has costs too.
    Elect people who use their brains and not their guts to make decisions.

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