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Timelines: There is no quick fix for this pandemic

A few days ago, President Donald Trump made a statement that may have been more a reflection of his hopes for the progression of COVID-19 in our country than reality.

He spoke of his hope that the U.S. would be “opened up and just raring to go” by Easter — less than two weeks from now.

“Wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full?” Trump said. “You’ll have packed churches all over our country. I think it would be a beautiful time, and it’s just about the timeline that I think is right. I’m not sure that’s going to be the date, but I would like to aim it right at Easter Sunday.”

To be fair, Trump did say he was not sure of the date. Again, it is easy to let hope bubble up right now, even if deep down we know it is extraordinarily unlikely some states will have even seen their peak number of COVID-19 infections by April 12.

Federal officials understand, of course, it is irresponsible to truly encourage anyone to be packing into any building right now … and probably in the near future.

Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and part of the president’s COVID-19 task force, was much more measured in looking at the stark reality facing us.

“Obviously, no one is going to want to tone down things when you see what’s going on in a place like New York City. That’s just good public health practice and common sense,” Fauci said.

Local and state officials also have put in place much longer timelines, and rightly so. But, another note of caution, even when governments at all levels begin to loosen restrictions, it would be unwise to throw common sense out the window and immediately abandon smart practices for stemming the spread of ALL contagions. Remember, health officials are still trying to determine whether a case in Japan was a true reinfection with COVID-19, or a re-emergence of the virus that was still hiding in her body.

Don’t let go of hope, folks. This, too, shall pass. But be leery of any rigid dates or timelines at the moment. The time may come when those make more sense. Now is not that time.

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