The next week or two we will start to turn the corner in some places in the US. This will be a triumph that we should all celebrate. But the next phase will bring new challenges. Here is my guess of how things will unfold. 1/
But first let me emphasize that we are far from being in the clear - we need to continue staying home. This is just a look ahead, to help people understand what might be coming next. 2/
As tough as the acceleration phase is, the goals are clear. Slow transmission, save lives, save the health system. In the next phase, those will all still be important goals, but the urgency will be somewhat lessened. This will be draining. 3/
And as transmission in some areas begins to slow, it will continue unabated in others. It may be difficult to capture in a tweet or headline how things are going. This complexity will leave a lot of room for political reactions. 4/
Places that are doing better will be anxious to get back to normal. All the decisions about how and when to shut down will have to be made in the opposite direction, about opening up. This will be exciting but also stressful and complex. 5/
Places that are doing poorly may feel left behind. And some commentators may mistake successes elsewhere as being locally relevant. There is no single national outbreak, there are many outbreaks in many communities. We must assess each individually. 6/
There will also be growing agitation about whether staying home was necessary. Make no mistake, it is and was. Any good outcome we observe will have been hard fought. Unlike weather forecasts, which pass no matter what, we directly influence an epidemic’s trajectory. 7/
Finally, we must plan for how we'll control transmission after we do decide to lift some physical distancing. Colleagues & I have a report out on that. We should be working on scaling these capabilities *now* so we can use them at the earliest opportunity https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/national-coronavirus-response-a-road-map-to-reopening/ …
(Postscript: There are a number of these threads in my history, if you want to see my track record.)
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