We’ve Made a Lot of Covid-19 Progress, but It’s Fragile

Every 10% additional non-compliant people adds to 100,000 lost lives

Andy Slavitt
Medium Coronavirus Blog
4 min readOct 29, 2020


Photo by Vera Davidova on Unsplash

If you want to avoid getting and spreading Covid-19, Mark Meadows is right. There’s not one thing you can do. There are six.

The truth is no one thing works perfectly — including a vaccine. But a combination of things works great. This image captures it the best.

If you want to read about the benefit of the combo effect of doing multiple things, Atul Gawande, MD, wrote a great piece about it. (Everything he writes is great.)

The CDC identifies six behaviors:

  • Wearing a face mask
  • Washing hands
  • Keeping a 6-foot distance
  • Postponement of (crowded) social activities
  • Avoiding crowded places
  • Avoiding some/all restaurants

Today they released a report on these “big 6.”

The report only goes through June, but to my mind, contains more positive news than we hear in the media. There are some challenges as well.

Let’s all start with an important reminder. Twelve months ago, none of us wore masks. Connecting with your friends and family was considered good! Physical contact we enjoyed. Crowded places, ball games, restaurants — we loved them.

So let’s go easy on each other. These aren’t illegal activities. Our whole lives we have learned this was all good stuff. And as humans, particularly in times of challenge, these are the very things that help us.

So now we’re telling people differently. And we started telling people this in March with #StayHome. And most people did. Some thought this was a two-week sprint. Some thought this was a “flatten the curve”…



Andy Slavitt
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Former Medicare, Medicaid & ACA head for Pres. Barack Obama. https://twitter.com/ASlavitt