We could not imagine the world would go into lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemics. People around the world have understandably been focused on the human toll of COVID-19, but the damage from the economic shutdowns governments are imposing to combat the coronavirus will compound across all aspects of society, and as with COVID-19 itself, this will disproportionately affect the disadvantaged. No society can safeguard public health interminably at the cost of its overall economic health. Resources to fight COVID-19 or any other a viral plague are not limitless, and they will become more limited by the day as individuals lose jobs, businesses close, and even the wealthiest countries’ prosperity gives way to poverty.
Surprinsingly, there has not been systematic research to understand the implementation of diverse social distancing strategies that control disease transmission, while minimizing the impact to the economy. In collaboration with Yonatan Savir, the Schnell Lab is developing mathematical and computational models to identify pandemic control strategies that save lives using a more economically and socially sustainable approach than global lockdown.