Why the coronavirus fight needs your most precious resource: Time

Social distancing is just waiting. Here's what your time buys.

An hourglass.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

For both economic and ethical reasons, it is imperative that the United States prioritize defeating the virus over other concerns. Now that we are finally making that a priority, we're starting to see the full consequences of that necessary decision. Our economy is screeching to a halt, and the government is consumed with ad hoc efforts to prop up existing economic arrangements and prevent a total collapse. It's enough to give anyone pause. The psychological and physiological consequences of long-term separation and enforced idleness are not to be minimized either. Critics even warn that they could dwarf the ultimate harm caused by the virus itself.

We've barely begun to fight, and yet it's already clear we can't keep this up forever. How long will it have to last? If extreme social distancing is about buying time, what are we buying time for?

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