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Covid-19 May Have You Working At Home

Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

By Luciana Borio & Scott Gottlieb (original source The Wall Street Journal)

“The numbers don’t tell the whole story. Nine Americans have died of Covid-19, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms more than 100 cases in 15 states. But there are probably already several thousand Americans who have been infected. For now, the average person’s risk is low in a nation of 330 million, but that may soon change. The highest risk is for those who live in regional hot zones such as Washington state or Northern California.

Measures that limit social activity may soon be in place. China tried to curb transmission by shutting down entire cities and mandatory mass quarantines. That won’t fly in the U.S., socially or legally. Iran is taking the opposite approach amid what may be a wider epidemic. Tehran appears resigned to letting the virus rage through the country’s population. Iran’s official reports say there are 2,300 cases in the country with 77 deaths, but the true number is likely much higher.

There’s still a chance to delay an American epidemic, though full containment is no longer possible. The key is to develop a strategy of mitigation, which will buy time to prepare hospitals, expand testing, and develop vaccines and therapies. This doesn’t mean the U.S. needs to ban people from moving freely in the country, which has happened in China and even Italy. Public-health authorities must develop an approach suited to American law, technology and social structures.”

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