Preventing future waves of COVID-19

Preventing future waves of COVID-19

When history books one day recount the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, it may well be a tale of human ingenuity and adaptiveness. Although the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, has infected more than 24 million people and left more than 800,000 dead as of this writing, the early projections of mortality were much worse.

Fears of millions of deaths by June 2020 have proven wrong—not because the disease is less lethal than anticipated, but because those fears ignored the ability of people to learn and change behaviors. Pockets of resistance against wearing masks and complying with other measures notwithstanding, the global public-health response has saved millions of lives. Increasingly, countries are restarting more aspects of normal life while keeping case numbers tenuously in check.

After seven months of responding to the pandemic, we have learned some things. This Mckinsey article identifies some of the key lessons and how to apply them.

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