Social distancing has worked—so far. We are past the peak in deaths from COVID-19, both nationally and in most states, though we’ve still got a few weeks before we go down the other side of the curve. It’s natural for people to be restless and to be eager for re-opening.
But the question isn’t “Should we reopen?” The question has always been “How do we reopen?” What conditions will make it possible? Reopening too quickly and with inadequate preparation just raises the prospect of a second wave of infection, with more deaths and more shutdowns in the future. That’s what happened with the Spanish Flu in 1918.
The past six weeks of shutdowns have certainly bought us time—but time for what?
A lot of conservative pundits are angrily asking that question—but not spending any time thinking about the answer. Because there is an answer.
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