Take A Deep Breath: Making Risk-Based Decisions In The Coronavirus Era

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Take A Deep Breath: Making Risk-Based Decisions In The Coronavirus Era


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By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News

Just last week, it seemed OK to have lunch out or maybe meet up with friends for a game of pickup soccer.

Now, in the fast-moving world of the coronavirus response, that’s no longer the case. More and better social distancing is required. But what’s still acceptable?

We reached out to public health experts, who, admittedly, vary in their recommendations. But their main message remains: The better individuals are now at social distancing to slow transmission of the virus, the better off we’ll all be eventually.

Already, California has told people 65 and older to stay at home. In the San Francisco Bay Area, where community spread is a growing concern, just about everyone else has been ordered to do so, too. California is also among the states that have ordered restaurants, gyms and other facilities to close. And the Trump administration has instructed Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people for the next 15 days and avoid sit-down meals in bars, restaurants and food courts. More restrictions from states, localities and the federal government could follow.

In the coming days, those rules and recommendations may expand as federal, state and local health officials weigh conditions on the ground. So what to do now?

“We ought to make risk-based decisions,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

Expect change. Maybe daily. But also take a deep…

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