511 Epidemiologists Weigh In on Resuming 20 Everyday Activities

June 12, 2020
Grace Halsey

The New York Times asked 511 epidemiologists when they might resume hair cuts, shaking hands, air travel, bus rides, and 15 other "normal" activities suspended during COVID-19 social distancing.

As the US tests resuming pre-COVID-19 activities with post-shutdown precautions in place, the New York Times invited ~6000 epidemiologists, including the membership of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, to respond to a survey on when they expect to resume 20 activities of daily life, assuming that the pandemic and the public health response to it proceed as they expect. Will the be ready resume this summer, 3-12 months from now, or not for more than a year?

The NYT stresses that survey results, personal opinions of 511 respondents, are not to be seen as guidelines for the public "and incorporate respondents’ individual life circumstances, risk tolerance and expectations about when there will be widespread testing, contact tracing, treatment and vaccination for COVID-19."

As survey respondents point out, the virus sets the timeline; answers have nothing to do with calendar time.

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