Epidemiologist Delivers Blunt Reality Check On Current Phase Of Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is not even close to being over, an associate professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at Harvard cautioned in a new editorial published by The Guardian this week.

In fact, it is “quite the reverse,” wrote William Hanage.

“The pandemic is only just getting started,” said Hanage, who explained why “talk of the ‘peak’” of the spread of the contagion “can be misleading” as “it’s not clear whether you are talking about the Matterhorn or Table Mountain – both have a summit, but the peak is far more pronounced in one than the other.”

Hanage also warned “there may be a mountain range.”

“In other words, what is happening right now could be just one peak – not the peak.” he said. “And the reason for this is that despite all those positive signs from antibody testing, the huge majority of the population is not immune.”

Hanage acknowledged a vaccine to combat the virus is “still a long way off” but said improved testing and contact tracing could greatly slow the pace of its spread.

“Governments around the world are attempting ways to keep jobs and businesses afloat while lockdowns are in place – but the pressure remains to swiftly end such shutdowns,” he added. “I get that this is going to be a mammoth strain on the economy. But the deaths of many thousands of people would be too: it is simply not possible to thoroughly insulate an economy from the impact of a pandemic of this kind.” 

Read Hanage’s full editorial here.

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