A report from Imperial College arguing many months of extreme social distancing is the only solution has people panicking. But there are reasons to think it’s way too pessimistic.
As the coronavirus crisis grows, some cities are taking extreme steps to slow it down, including cities in the Bay Area, where residents now have to shelter in place for 21 days, venturing outside only for essentials such as buying groceries. But a new paper, not yet peer-reviewed, suggests that even that might not be enough to prevent later surges in cases that will overwhelm hospitals. Until a vaccine exists—perhaps as long as 18 months from now—the study says that life might have to radically change, with repeated periods of “social distancing” to stop the spread of the disease. But many others, including Bill Gates, argue that the new paper is too pessimistic.