“We must face the harsh reality in some countries that we may need to be closed again,” said Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
And the second wave of state closure could be more damaging than the first.
“Due to quarantine fatigue, due to the economic effects of quarantine, other rounds of shutdowns may have a greater effect on businesses that might be on the edge of not being able to remain solvent,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Metrics and Health Evaluation at the University of Washington.
Economic casualties from one closing round have been shocking. More than 44 million people in the United States have applied for initial jobless benefits since mid-March.
But the pandemic is far from over. More than 115,000 Americans die from the corona virus, and hundreds more die from the virus every day.
“Covid doesn’t take summer vacations,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert and professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“This actually has a new opportunity to spread.”
Track viruses in your country and throughout the US
Murray said the “biggest and most difficult choice” the country could face in the coming months was to manage a potential second closure.
And the consequences of other closures will be broad, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
“We cannot shut down the economy again,” Mnuchin said CNBC
. “I think we have learned that if you shut down the economy, you will do more damage. And not only economic damage, but … medical problems and everything that is delayed.”
But the federal government has not controlled the closure and reopening. That has become the policy of each country.
“If you run out of hospital beds, and you run out of ICU beds … (the state) must be closed,” Reiner said.
That had happened before
The second shutdown is not only possible – they have already taken place in several parts of the world during this pandemic.
Hong Kong and Singapore seem to have the coronavirus under control and begin to reduce restrictions – only to have a major revival that leads to tighter rules.
The second largest island in Japan, Hokkaido, was also closed to control the spread of the corona virus. “But they opened too fast,” Reiner said, leading to Covid’s 19th comeback.
“They closed again. And that’s how they put out the virus.”
How Americans can prevent another round of shutdown
While the state is trying to revive the economy, the fate of this pandemic depends to a large extent on individuals.
“People must obey safety guidelines,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
“Social distance must be considered. Face covering in key places must be considered.”
Wearing a face mask is very important to slow the spread of coronavirus because of how easy it is to infect others – even without any symptoms.
“We must take action now so we avoid closing in the future,” said Lina Hidalgo
, head of government in Harris County, Texas – the third most populous county in the United States.
Like many parts of the country, Harris County has seen a surge in Covid-19 hospitals since Memorial Day weekend.
“It just continues to grow,” Hidalgo said on Friday.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said “the best thing to do is to avoid crowded areas.”
“But if you don’t want to do that,” he said, “please wear a mask.”
Amanda Watts from CNN contributed to this report.