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America was supposed to be prepared. It wasn’t.
So, what now? When will this all end? When will life in the U.S. return to normal?
Today, our staff writer Ed Yong talks through a number of scenarios in this comprehensive, essential work of journalism. I encourage you to read it in full.
It’s an exploration of what the future may hold. But before looking forward, Ed revisits the past, retracing how we got here—and what needs to change immediately to ensure the best possible outcome.
What went wrong
America’s original sin—“the single flaw that undermined every other countermeasure”—was its failure to deploy testing during the early spread of the disease.
What the U.S. can do now
“This is the worst-case scenario,” Ed writes. “To avert it, four things need to happen—and quickly.”
Produce personal protective equipment (masks and the like).
Continue social distancing.
Deliver clear, consistent messaging, from the top.
What the future holds
There are three possible endgames. The first one already seems unlikely: that each country simultaneously halts its outbreak. The second is that the virus sweeps through the world and fizzles out in the face of growing herd immunity—but in the process, millions die.