Lockdowns, quarantines and extreme forms of physical distancing work: They are curbing the spread of Covid-19. But they cannot last indefinitely, at least not without causing enormous damage to economies and compromising peoples’ good will and emotional well-being.
When governments decide to close schools (or not), for example, they are implicitly trying to balance these various interests. One major problem, though: Their calculus about the underlying trade-offs typically is unclear, and the criteria for their policy adjustments are unknown.
A formal framework is needed, with an explicit rationale grounded in science, for determining when and how and based on what factors to relax restrictions — and how to reapply some or all of them should another epidemic wave hit again.The New York Times