History shows the dangers of relaxing restrictions too soon in a pandemic
From UM Medicine
He helped coin the phrase “flatten the curve.” And he’s pretty impressed at how well some countries, and American states and cities, have done it in recent weeks.
By keeping as many people at home as possible, they’ve kept the numbers of serious cases of COVID-19 below or just above what hospitals in most areas can handle, says Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine.
And that, without a doubt, has saved lives. It’s also bought time for researchers to seek treatments and develop vaccines, and for public health agencies and hospitals to build up the testing and treatment capacity that must be in place before any “return to normal.”
But now, Markel worries that some of those places will squander the progress they’ve made.