By Sandra R. Hernandez, California Health Care Foundation, March 16, 2020
We have entered an important new chapter in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic: After a week filled with school closures and the cancellation of major public events of all kinds, Congress and President Donald Trump are hopefully close to a deal to address the spread of the dangerous coronavirus.
This clear-headed collaboration by our political leaders is welcome for the immediate relief it will bring and because it restores — for at least a moment — the primacy of public health over hyper-partisan politics.
COVID-19 hit us where we are vulnerable. Unlike the flu, there is no community immunity to this virus. There is no treatment and no vaccine. The incubation period is long, and the virus is very contagious. People are being infected and infecting others faster than the system can currently respond.