BeerFartMoron writes: Recently there has been a proliferation of modeling work which has been used to make the point that if we can stay inside, practice extreme social distancing, and generally lock down nonessential parts of society for several months, then many deaths from COVID-19 can be prevented. But what happens after the lockdown? In an article studying the possible effects of heterogeneous measures, academics presented examples of epidemic trajectories for COVID-19 assuming no mitigations at all, or assuming extreme mitigations which are gradually lifted at 6 months, to resume normal levels at 1 year.

“Unfortunately, extreme mitigation efforts which end (even gradually) reduce the number of deaths only by 1% or so; as the mitigation efforts let up, we still see a full-scale epidemic, since almost none of the population has developed immunity to the virus,” writes Wesley Pegden, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. “There is a simple truth behind the problems with these modeling conclusions. The duration of containment efforts does not matter, if transmission rates return to normal when they end, and mortality rates have not improved. This is simply because as long as a large majority of the population remains uninfected, lifting containment measures will lead to an epidemic almost as large as would happen without having mitigations in place at all.” “This is not to say that there are not good reasons to use mitigations as a delay tactic,” Pegden adds. “For example, we may hope to use the months we buy with containment measures to improve hospital capacity, in the hopes of achieving a reduction in the mortality rate. We might even wish to use these months just to consider our options as a society and formulate a strategy.”

“But mitigations themselves are not saving lives in these scenarios; instead, it is what we do with the time that gives us an opportunity to improve the outcome of the epidemic.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – What Happens After the Lockdown?