"Just hang in there a little longer" 🤞🏻😖

We *must* stop treating the #COVID19 #SARSCoV2 pandemic as if this is something to be endured for a few more weeks. 🗓️

We're in this for the long-haul, & the sooner we start behaving that way, the better we'll do.

This *doesn't* mean we need to be in lockdown 🔐 (or anything like it) long-term.

But it *does* mean we need to be prepared for long-term social distancing 🧍🏾↔️🧍🏻, mask-wearing😷, & hand-hygiene 🧼👏🏻, as well as a fluctuating state of 'open'.

Even in countries like S Korea, where full lockdown never happened & where containing spread has been largely successful, multiple 'spikes' 📈 have happened. We see this in other re-opening countries.

Success depends on being able to effectively contain these increases.

While no one action (barring full lockdown) is likely enough to contain #SARSCoV2, we have found a package of measures that seem to work well:
- general social distancing/density reduction 🧍🏾↔️🧍🏻
- hand hygiene 🧼👏🏻
- mask wearing 😷
- #TestTraceIsolate 🧬🔍

*And* these /generally/ allow us to proceed with a pretty normal life if cases are under control.

This all seems obvious now but *we didn't know this* earlier this year 🗓️ & we should be thankful that such relatively simple measures are *so effective* 🙏

However, when cases jitter 🤒📈, some venues & activities seem to be more high-risk for transmission & can't operate as they normally do:

Bars, clubs, & gyms are hard to distance & have high aerosol risk.🏋🏻‍♀️🕺🏿
Restaurants/museums/etc often need to be at <100% capacity 🏛️

Further, things like travel are still restricted 🛫🌍, & for many people, generally unattractive. Perhaps increasingly un-affordable as well, as the economic implications start to bite. 💸

A lot of these industries will take a long time to - & some may never - recover.

Currently, in many countries, economic & social packages providing furlough, welfare & job security 💰 & preventing things like evictions 🏠 & loan default are due to expire at the end of summer... 🌞📉

But we aren't going to be at 'normal' by then & we shouldn't expect to

Possibly quite the opposite, in fact - as we modelled back in March, there's a real risk of a 'second wave' 🌊 as winter arrives ☃️

(Different 'peak months' for transmission shown)

It's important to remember though - this *ISN'T* inevitable! Much of seasonality is behavioural - we stay inside more 🏘️ & open windows less 🪟

If prepared, we can counter this with corresponding behavioural changes 🧠 - if we are determined to keep them up.

While we'd all love for #COVID19 #SARSCoV2 to be in its death-throes (esp in Europe), & think that if we can just hang in a little longer, we'll cross the finish-line into 'normalcy', this thinking prevents us from effectively & adequately preparing for the future.

We need to find longer-term ways to preserve our economy *while* making allowances for continued social-distancing 🧑🏽‍🤝‍🧑🏼 & moving back-and-forth across 'open/closed lines' 🚪 (& inherently different consumer behaviour based on the perceived risks 🙅🏽‍♀️).

We need to support businesses 🛍️ & individuals ☹️ whose livelihoods will be affected by *more* months of uncertainty & economic downturn 💸.

A *huge* part of that is keeping cases as low as possible so we can be as open as possible - while reacting quickly to spikes! 📈🤒

Another *big* part of this is making the #COVID19 situation safe enough to re-open schools 🏫🎒

Schools *should not open* while it's not safe 📈 - but we need to *prioritise* controlling cases & implementing measures so it *is* safe 📉😷📝

I have big concerns about the long-term impact on children not getting access to in-person education & social interaction👦🏼📕

I also have big concerns about the impact this is having on women ♀️ who primarily are responsible for home-schooling, impacting their careers 👩🏽‍💼

Neither of these things are good for the economy, especially in the longer-term 💸 - but I would also hope that educating our children is a social good outside of economic ramifications 🕊️✍️🏼.

Clearly, many ppl unemployed/evicted is also bad news economically & socially 😢

And we *all* need to be prepared for more masks😷, more low-density indoors🧍🏾↔️🧍🏻, & more things not quite operating at 'normal' level 🥡

"Inconveniences" that will save lives *and* keep things as open as possible.

We similarly *must* start re-thinking how our society & economy works 💹🌐 in the medium - to long-term to protect & preserve businesses 🏬 (esp small ones) & individuals 🧑🏾‍🍳 who will continue to be hard-hit.

To repeat 1 key message:

Keeping cases as low as possible 📉 = keeping schools 🏫 & businesses 🛍️ open as possible = saving lives ⚕️ & saving livelihoods 😊

We know how to do it.
We just need to be ready to do it for longer.
And we can keep #COVID19 #SARSCoV2 from winning.

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