Lockdowns worked. Now what?

“Flattening the curve through social distancing has worked in restraining Covid-19’s growth, according to new research published in Health Affairs.”

“The goal of flattening the curve was to prevent local health systems from becoming overwhelmed, which could have led to even higher fatalities than the US has already seen (about 90,000, as of Monday morning). Even New York City, the hardest-hit place in the country, has not seen its hospitals overrun in any kind of systemic way.
Take together the reduced spread through social distancing and the medical system being able to meet the Covid-19 need, and there is solid evidence that flattening the curve has worked.”

““In principle, the measures also bought time to develop a more effective testing and contact tracing infrastructure, although we will see whether that actually has been achieved as states start to reopen.””

Data shows social distancing has slowed down the coronavirus outbreak. But what’s next?

“Social distancing absolutely does work to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In the states that started social distancing the earliest, including Seattle and San Francisco, the growth of new cases has slowed noticeably. In places that implemented them a little later, like New York, the growth of new cases began to slow later.
Testing is still limited and the criteria for testing varies in different places, making direct comparisons difficult, but there are enough cities seeing improvement that a real trend can be observed.”

“It’s a vexing situation. The US has succeeded at its first task of slowing the wildfire spread of the virus through our communities, but it may have achieved only a standstill, not a victory. And as pressure grows to open more businesses and get the country back to work, there is still limited (and not encouraging) data about what will be needed to keep the virus from roaring back. Even worse, if the data suggests that the country actually needs more stringent restrictions than the current ones, it’s hard to imagine who’d muster the political will to implement them.”