OK, so from my interviews with a ton of epidemiologists over the last bunch of months, here's a pretty straightforward plan to suppress the virus and get the US to something like, say, 90% of normal life. Three steps!
1) Mask Up: Short of a national order (which strikes me as tough, enforcement-wise) getting all governors to issue state-wide mask orders would be enormously helpful. Messaging is vital. CDC data shows how important AZ's order was in suppressing its summer outbreak.
2) Bar Rescue: Have the federal government pay every last bar, restaurant, nightclub, theatre and concert venue to stay closed for the next nine months. You'd remove *enormous* pressure to reopen things that aren't safe, and it probably pays for itself.
3) National Test, Trace and Surveillance: This is the most complicated to stand up, but one way to think of the goal is: what if every place people had to congregate was like the NBA bubble? A number of universities have used this approach and it's...worked!
And that's it! Those three things: masks, pay high-risk businesses to stay closed, massively ramp up testing. We could avoid tens of thousands of deaths and have something much closer to our normal lives.
It's not easy, but it's also not rocket science. It's doable and our federal government is actively choosing to not do it. And not just to not do it, to actually embrace the opposite approach, to promote actions and policies that mean *more* people contract the virus.
All of this impotent wishcasting at this point. Obviously, it's not gonna happen because Donald Trump is president and the Republican Party supports him and controls the senate and they very much do not care how many people die. They just don't.
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