April 10, 2020

Returning to normal in the post-pandemic world

Covid-19 is omnipresent. But what happens after conditions begin to improve? Regenstrief President and CEO Peter Embí, M.D., and VP for Data and Analytics Shaun Grannis, M.D., propose strategies for responsibly getting to the new normal of the post-pandemic world.

Their essay, “Here’s what to consider when reopening the economy“, an Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) Forefront column, was published April 10, 2020.

“Beating this pandemic will take time,” they write. “It will not be easy, but we can and will succeed. Unfortunately, there are no short-cuts, only tempting detours that risk prolonging this painful journey. To arrive safely, we will need good data-driven decision making, continued collaboration, and steadfast determination.”

The two clinician-researchers call for data-driven development of a rational plan for gradual easing of social-distancing, sheltering at home, and temporary closure of nonessential businesses (collectively called “nonpharmaceutical interventions”) as communities begin the slow return to a healthy and prosperous life.

They highlight five areas critical for consideration as the state and nation move toward terminating personal isolation and business closure mandates, hopefully in the not-too-distant future. These are: (1) designation of principles for winding down these nonpharmaceutical interventions; (2) tracking and testing of the virus, as well as maintaining an early-warning system to detect new outbreaks; (3) gaining a more nuanced understanding of the disease; (4) treatment and vaccine development through expansion of clinical trials; (5) learning from the experiences of other nations.

Overcoming this pandemic will take time and not be easy, but Dr. Embí and Dr. Grannis observe that success will require good data-driven decision-making along with continued collaboration and steadfast determination.

Read the IBJ Forefront column.

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