While waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine, people should continue washing their hands, wearing masks, and staying away from each other. A new study revealed Tuesday that these three behaviors could stop the pandemic. This new data is welcome news, with COVID-19 cases spiking in many parts of the world.
With No Vaccine Yet, How Can We Prevent COVID-19?
CNN reports that the new study appeared in the journal PLoS Medicine. For the study, researchers made models to learn the best ways to keep COVID-19 from spreading among the population. These ways include good hygiene, wearing masks, and social distancing.
The experts created models based on how people interact in the Netherlands. But they also say that the results could apply to any Western country. These experts worked at the University Medical Center Utrecht.
In the study, they wrote that “if the efficacy of these measures exceeds 50%,” we have a good shot of preventing a pandemic.
“If people washed hands regularly, wore masks, and kept social distance from each other, these 3 simple behaviors could stop most all of the Covid-19 pandemic, even w/out vaccine or additional treatments, according to new study in journal PLoS Medicine.” https://t.co/eeaKGeNlLM
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) July 25, 2020
When Should We Apply These COVID-19 Measures?
Governments should help the public, according to the models. Slow responses from the public can reduce case numbers, but will not prevent another surge. Early lockdowns with no public compliance will delay the wave, but will not drive down the numbers. If the government locks down for three months, they will buy time only for seven months.
The best way to address COVID-19 is a mix of government measures and public participation. Governments must impose distancing, and the public has to follow while washing hands and wearing masks.
Agreement on COVID-19 Prevention Measures
US officials have advised the public to wear masks and keep away from people. Admiral Brett Giroir of the US HHS said that these steps could “quickly stop the spread of the pandemic.”