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Partial unlock model for COVID-19 or similar pandemic averts medical and economic disaster
Shuler Robert L.
Acceso Abierto
Data as of March 29, 2020 show that the flattening strategy for COVID-19 in the U.S. is working so well that a clean removal of social distancing (aka unlock) at any time in 2020 will produce a renewed catastrophe, overloading the healthcare system. Leaving the economy locked down for a long time is its own catastrophe. An SIR-type model with clear parameters suitable for public information, and both tracking and predictive capabilities which learns disease spread characteristics rapidly as policy changes, suggests that a solution to the problem is a partial unlock. Case load can be managed so as not to exceed critical resources such as ventilators, yet allow enough people to get sick that herd immunity develops and a full unlock can be achieved in as little as five weeks from beginning of implementation. The partial unlock could be for example 3 full working days per week. Given that not all areas or individuals will respond, and travel and public gatherings are still unlikely, the partial unlock might be 5 full working days per week. The model can be regionalized easily, and by expediting the resolution of the pandemic in the U.S. medical equipment and volunteers, many of them with already acquired immunity, can be made available to other countries.
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