Coronavirus: How behaviour can help control the spread of COVID-19

Commuters jam a Toronto subway platform. Widespread adoption of habits that help prevent infection may boost behavioural herd immunity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

(Peter Hall/ The Conversation) — (…) Current discussions about COVID-19 in conventional and social media may be focused on the wrong things. Rather than talking about fear-inducing counterfactual scenarios (what ifs), we need to focus on crowdsourcing strategies that limit the ability of the infection to get a foothold in our population.

A vaccine would be nice and will eventually arrive. But in the meantime, epidemics like COVID-19 can be prevented by increasing the prevalence of precautionary behaviours in the general population that impede its spread.

These measures include a few familiar maxims, none of which are implemented consistently enough, and a few unfamiliar ones, which very much need to be taken up individually en masse. And soon. (…)

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