Most of the real experts have urged “go hard, go early”. The US president seems to have a different slogan in mind: “go some of the way, then go soft”.
Trump’s flaccid approach — as a way of saving the US economy — should leave Americans (and citizens the world over) alert and very, very alarmed.
If social distancing measures in the USA are relaxed early because “Our country was not built to be shut down”, Italy could soon look like a warm-up act.
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I’m a GP, not an epidemiologist, but all the evidence suggests that social distancing is currently our most effective tool to “flatten the curve”.
I’m in quarantine myself, having just returned from the UK. It’s a pain, particularly as I’m completely well, but I believe it’s the right policy.
Multiple measures seem to work better than any one alone, extreme measures (China, Singapore) best of all. Waiting a bit too long (Italy?) risks losing control.
If Trump has any doubts, he should pop over to Oz and talk to the boffins at the University of Western Australia. Their recent research powerfully underscores the value of social distancing.
Actually, with border restrictions, he wouldn’t be allowed in. There’s the proof that extreme measures keep the nasties out.
Another reason to go hard.
Nick Carr is a Melbourne-based GP, author and broadcaster.