It can seem to public health officials that giving an inch means people will take a mile, NBC News reports.
In the months since most U.S. states emerged from coronavirus lockdowns, wearing a mask has become a matter of politics more than safety, “pandemic parties” have been broken up in California, New York and Florida, and many states that forged ahead with reopening plans in May have been forced to pause or reverse the orders.
It’s in this fraught climate that public health experts are saying that if other less-extreme measures are not working or being ignored, another round of lockdowns — as politically unpopular as they may be — may be the only way to keep an already-dire situation from spiraling further out of control.
“We understand there’s no appetite for these extreme measures, but we’re on a collision course with destiny right now,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Pockets of the U.S.,like many parts of the world, first enacted stay-at-home orders in March. That helped several countries get their outbreaks under control — but not the U.S., which is now on track to surpass 170,000 deaths. New infections remain alarmingly high in several states.
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