Lockdowns Must Last At Least 60 Days

A new modeling study simulates responses to the pandemic in an attempt to find the best one

Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog
2 min readJun 23, 2020

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Photo: Victor J. Blue/Getty Images

New York City, the center of the U.S. epidemic, went into lockdown on March 22, and it became one of the last places in the country to ease its restrictions on June 8. Altogether, lockdown in New York City lasted for about 78 days, or just over 11 weeks. And while this may have seemed like an eternity, new research in Nature Human Biology reaffirms that a long lockdown is necessary to keep the Covid-19 pandemic in check.

In the new paper, published Monday, researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health report the findings of a modeling study in which they simulated different responses to the pandemic in an attempt to find the best possible one. The model took into account several factors, including human behavior, the potential for immunity, and the length of lockdowns, which allowed the authors to determine the optimal length for a lockdown and the best way to reopen safely.

Lockdowns, they found, “should remain in place for at least 60 days to prevent epidemic growth, as well as a potentially larger second wave of SARS-CoV-2 cases occurring within months.”

Reopening, they found, must happen gradually. Acknowledging that a country must…

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Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.