The Secret to a Safe Reopening

As countries around the world begin to reopen, those that waited for the right time to ease lockdown restrictions seem to be in better shape than those who reopened despite higher levels of coronavrius transmission and lower public health capacity. In an article for Foreign Affairs, KFF’s Jen Kates and Josh Michaud discuss different countries’ approaches to reopening after months of lockdown to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
“Countries that proceeded cautiously, maintaining lockdowns until their outbreaks were mostly under control and their health systems were ready to handle new outbreaks, have fared better than those that opened rapidly and prematurely. Similarly, those that followed careful—and reversible—stepwise processes while communicating effectively with their publics have had more success handling inevitable surprises than those that flipped the ‘on’ switch all at once. In other words, the when and how of reopening has proved enormously consequential.”

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