It amazes me how people still don’t get exponential growth after 2 months of everyone explaining it. It does not matter if a country has had 1 death, 100 or 1000 if it’s growing fast.
If each infectee gives it to 2-3 others, it will spread throughout most of the population like wildfire and destroy health care and whole societies, this summer.
If each infectee gives it to 1.1 people, it will spread eventually and become endemic, with many deaths, but we may have time to ramp up to cope better and develop vaccines.
If each infectee gives it to 0.9 people, now we are distancing better, it will peak within a month and start to fall. And we’ll be able to chase the odd little pockets of virus around until it is gone. They have got infection to ZERO in Cremona, the Italian epicentre, by testing everyone.
So, what measures bring that number down? Distancing. Honestly, folks doing it right are getting about 10% of the contact time they were in normal life beforehand. If everyone is sensible, those who can work from home or just stop working, and we don’t line up for hours at checkouts in crowds, we’re there. Give everyone a universal basic income so the non-essential workers can sit it out at home, non-essential companies can ‘pause’ without going under, and we’ll be able to gradually resume normality in a couple of months time.
Once growth turns to decline, the authorities can test, isolate, trace and treat. But they can do that way sooner with 100k infected than with a million. So every day counts and saves lives.
I have a hunch the cleanup phase may well come about fastest in the wealthy world with apps to self-report if you have got it, not yet got it, or had it, and test kits you can order off Amazon Prime next day, without waiting for the government.