Tomas Pueyo in Medium:
Many countries are enduring the Hammer today: a heavy set of social distancing measures that have stopped the economy. Millions have lost their jobs, their income, their savings, their businesses, their freedom. The economic cost is brutal. Countries are desperate to know what they need to do to open up the economy again.
Thankfully, a set of four measures can dramatically reduce the epidemic. They are dirt cheap compared to closing the economy. If many countries are enduring the Hammer today, these measures are the scalpel, carefully extracting the infected rather than hitting everybody at once.
These four measures need each other. They don’t work without one another:
- With testing, we find out who is infected
- With isolations, we prevent them from infecting others
- With contact tracing, we figure out the people with whom they’ve been in contact
- With quarantines, we prevent these contacts from infecting others
Testing and contact tracing are the intelligence, while isolations and quarantines are the action. We’ll dive into the first two today — testing and contact tracing — and the next two will be covered next.