As we all grow weary of lockdowns & restrictions, & some case-counts seem to plateau, there's restlessness towards ending these to limit economic harm & 'get back to normal'

Let me be very, very clear:
There is no cheap or easy way out of this pandemic.


While the restrictions currently in place are damaging economically & socially, they are *working* - & saving lives.

There seems to be a bit of a fantasy that because things 'aren't so bad now,' we can start lifting restrictions & things will just be 'normal' again. 💰🌞

I cannot emphasise enough how much this *is not the case*. Restrictions are working - the minute we ease them, the virus will quickly regain ground! ☠️

There is no short cut way #COVID19 isn't going to continue to cost a lot. But we have a choice in *where* those costs are

3 main options:

1. Lift restrictions. Cost = Lives, hospitals, economy. ☠️💸
2. Continue strict restrictions until vaccine. Cost = Economy, society, mental 💸🙁
3. #TestTraceIsolate Cost = Equipment, personpower, organisation 🔬👩🏻‍🔬

(the hashtag is a spoiler)

1. Lift restrictions

The virus isn't less dangerous now: we are stopping it with restrictions. As soon as we relax, the virus *will* return - if we do nothing, it will kill millions & hospitalise millions more. Do we really think the economy will be 'normal' through this?

@voxdotcom sums it up: "It imagines that we simply let a highly lethal virus kill perhaps millions of Americans, hospitalize 10s of millions more, & crush the health system, while the rest of us go about our daily economic & social business"

2. Continue strict restrictions until a vaccine

While this may contain the virus, it's simply unsustainable. People will start breaking lockdowns, & the economic cost will grow unbearable. Deaths will rise from other causes, like suicide, or bloodclots caused by immobility.

3. #TestTraceIsolate

No, this option isn't easy. And yes, it'll cost money & take organisation. But if really want to get back to anything like 'normal' - here's our best chance.

There are variations in how it might work in practice, but the theory is the same:

We must *increase testing* to have a better measure of the epidemic in our population & to allow people testing positive to *isolate* ASAP. Then, their contacts must be *traced* so that they too can *isolate* & be *tested*.

But the rest of us can continue our lives!

However it's done, this will require a *big* step up in effort & coordination - there's no doubt about that. But to paraphrase Roosevelt: "Nothing worth doing comes without effort."

The thing is - the other options aren't less costly. They aren't really other options.

*There is no cheap & easy way out of this pandemic*

It's going to be hard, cost $$ money, & require huge effort

Or, we kill people & the economy.

The sooner we accept our path - our 'Apollo mission' ( @trvrb), the sooner we progress!

#COVID19 #SARSCoV2 #TestTraceIsolate

If you enjoyed my thread & other content, would you consider a donation - not to me! - but to help ramp up #COVID19 sequencing globally? We do better science w more diverse 🧬!

Read more about our goal, why sequencing #SARSCoV2 matters, & donate here!
You can follow @firefoxx66.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: