How Should We Be Reacting to the Coronavirus Pandemic?

A warning sign at the New Rochelle City Hall entrance in New York on March 10. Westchester County in New York will be placed under containment after officials determined Tuesday it is the site of a “cluster” of new coronavirus infections. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

We really can’t stop the general spread of this virus.

COVID-19 appears lethal almost exclusively to the elderly and chronically ill.

Data source: Worldometer, retrieved on March 10, 2020

The effect of disruptions will exceed prevention efforts.

I would favor business as usual for the young and healthy; widespread testing away from hospitals and clinics; enhanced home services for the frail, homebound elderly to shield them from outside exposure until this winds down; and “firewalls” of infectious disease interdiction around our nursing homes, care facilities, and hospitals.

President, True Health Initiative; CEO, Diet ID; Founder, Former Director, Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. @DrDavidKatz

Sign up for Heated with Mark Bittman

By Heated

Food from every angle. Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store