Social Distancing Is Not Going Away

Jack Kurtz/ZUMA

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Just a reminder in case you haven’t absorbed enough bad news over the past few weeks: epidemiologists expect COVID-19 to return in the fall even if we successfully stamp out the current outbreak by the end of spring. This means that after a few months of respite, we will be adopting social distancing measures again later this year. There’s no telling when, but I’ll bet it will be at the first hint of a new outbreak.

Among other things, this means we need to be prepared with another huge rescue package. This time, since we know it’s coming, hopefully we’ll be ready. There are plenty of kinks in the package we passed last week, which is understandable for a first try passed in record time. By fall, however, the states should have their unemployment insurance systems running more smoothly; the small business loan package can be tweaked to avoid delays and bank problems; and medical supplies will have been fully stockpiled. We’ll be old hands at this, but only if we spend the summer planning for it.

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