Reader's View: Timeline needed for return to normalcy

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Perhaps it’s time to consider a plan to begin a return to normalcy? Most of us will be exposed to the coronavirus, and many will get infected. “Flattening the curve” means spreading that number of exposures and infections over a longer time period so as not to overburden health care facilities. Perhaps these measures can accomplish that.

Continue to restrict or prohibit visits to hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and other congregate senior-living places. Continue the “shelter in place” for the vulnerable in the population. Require those who are ill, become ill, display symptoms, or test positive to recover at home (unless seriousness requires hospitalization). And observe 14-day quarantines.

But, resume work and social activities for the majority, particularly those at low risk of a serious illness. Said to feel like a mild cold for most. Get the herd immunity process underway. Continue to prohibit large gatherings. Allow these events to be televised if appropriate. Enjoy at a distance. Continue social distancing when possible. It may be necessary for those out and about to wear masks.

There is support for such an approach, including in op-eds by Dr. David L. Kast of Yale University in the New York Times and Times columnist Thomas Friedman. There also is opposition, including a letter in the Times by several of Kast’s Yale colleagues.

There is another way called Intermittent Lockdown. Google a Harvard study titled, “Social distancing strategies for curbing the COVID-19 epidemic.”


There are variations of the above, including from Singapore, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

What’s the timeline? Perhaps May if infections peak in April.

Larry Hammargren


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