Preprint Essay Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

CoVID-19: Where We Are, What We Should Do and What We Should Learn

Version 1 : Received: 26 April 2020 / Approved: 28 April 2020 / Online: 28 April 2020 (07:50:12 CEST)

How to cite: Eppinger, J.; Rueping, M. CoVID-19: Where We Are, What We Should Do and What We Should Learn. Preprints 2020, 2020040484 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0484.v1). Eppinger, J.; Rueping, M. CoVID-19: Where We Are, What We Should Do and What We Should Learn. Preprints 2020, 2020040484 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0484.v1).


There were warnings before; nevertheless the current CoVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise: within just four month, it conquered the globe and claimed over 200'000 lives. Unprecedented governmental actions put about half of the population under curfew or lock-down. The resulting economic meltdown is expected to eliminate globally 9’000’000’000’000 (9 trillion) USD in 2020 and 2021 alone, a value roughly the size of the yearly GDP of the world’s 150 smallest economies. The resulting crises might cause mass-unemployment and a hunger pandemic later this year. This Essay analyses current statistical data of the CoVID-19 pandemic to develop a guideline for a path through the crisis, minimizing both loss of lives and economic costs. Part 1 details the current situation; part 2 develops a small set of measures, allowing a near normal life until a future vaccination campaign has reached sufficient numbers of people; and part 3 provides some important lessons for the future beyond SARS-CoV-2. The Essay leads to the following key-messages: 1) The CoVID-19 pandemic will stay for at least two more years. This is the minimum time required for a vaccination campaign to reach sufficient numbers of people. 2) The crucial element to control the pandemic is keeping case numbers under the threshold required for a functional tracing, testing & isolation (TTI) strategy. That threshold differs from country to country and strongly depends on culture and the applied tracing technology as well as available testing capacities. 3) The economic burden of a TTI strategy is moderate while fatalities are also reduced. Hence, such an approach is strongly recommended. Its implementation requires a set of simple and cost-effective measures (see figure below), which in combination seem to be sufficient to keep CoVID-2’s reproductive rate at or below 1. 4) Implementing international coordination of actions will be necessary for effective infection-chain tracing5) If case numbers are above the TTI threshold, shutdown measures remain the only option until tracing of infection chains becomes feasible again.6) In the future, neglected pandemic-related research requires a funding boost. Just 1% of the bill of the current crisis could support the research of 45’000 scientist for 20 years.

Subject Areas

SARS-CoV-2; CoVID-19; pandemic control; research policy

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 30 April 2020
Commenter: Prof Roy Thompson
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Excellent article. Very readable. I strongly recommend it on my 'Glimmer of hope' blog. In contrast to your world scenario (your Fig 2) some (e.g. Britton, Stockholm, or Lourenco et al, Oxford) model Sweden and Britain, and presumably many other developed countries, as well on the way to "herd immunity". Why the difference? Is there more to it than remote geography or inactivity though the early growth phase?
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