COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery: A Report for the Nation

COVID-19 Roadmap to Recovery: A Report for the Nation (Group of Eight Australia, late April 2020, 190p)

An independent report by >100 leading researchers from Australia’s Group of Eight (Go8) universities, presenting two options: Elimination requiring restrictions for a longer duration at first and Controlled Adaptation by suppressing the illness to a low level  and managing it—“a signal of pragmatic acceptance.”  A third option of Herd Immunity was rejected at the outset.

Chapters discuss an ethical framework for recovery, the two options with many side roads (in that there is no one solution), border protection and travel restrictions, the importance of public trust and transparency, civic engagement, the optimal approach to building a health system within the Roadmap, preparing to reopen, mental health and wellbeing, care of indigenous Australians, equity of access and outcomes in health support, and clarity of communication.

Neither of the two options will allow a return to life as we knew it: in both cases, the new normal will require enhanced hygiene, some physical distancing, and greater testing and tracing.  “In both cases, most of us will remain susceptible.  The final exit from both pathways will require a vaccine that confers immunity to all of us.”  It seems reasonable to expect one in the next year or two.

Note: A distinctive and noteworthy report.  Although addressed to Australians, our nations may benefit from this thoughtful discussion of recovery options.

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