WHO releases guidelines for easing restrictions


Screen shot from the World Health Organization website

This is the WHO Logo.

On Tuesday last week, the World Health Organization released their six guidelines for determining when society is ready to get back to normal after the coronavirus epidemic. Their six guidelines are as follows:

  1. Disease transmission is under control. This is somewhat subjective as under control can have different meanings for different people. In any case, we are not there at this time. 
  2. Health systems are able to detect, test, isolate, and treat every case and trace every contact. While large strides have been made, the healthcare industry has not come up with a test that has been deemed sufficient for widespread use. Tests currently being used are not very accurate, with many presumed cases of COVID-19 coming back negative despite showing all of the symptoms. 
  3. Hot spot risks are minimized in vulnerable places. These places can include places like nursing homes where the population is more at risk than the general population. Another hot spot would be places like schools and convention centers, where large numbers of people gather together and are also in relatively close proximity to one another. 
  4. Schools, workplaces, and other essential places have established preventative measures. Many businesses that have gone to working from home as well as schools doing distance learning do not currently have preventative measures in place to bring students and employees back together, however, these procedures are being discussed. 
  5. The risk of importing new cases can be managed. This echoes #2 in that an accurate test must be developed with results that can be acquired in a shorter period of time. 
  6. Communities are fully educated, engaged, and empowered to live under a new normal. This will take time. Society as a whole is not ready for restrictions to be eased. Many are afraid of loved ones who are at risk of contracting the virus, and many more are afraid of catching it themselves. While many are somewhat educated on the virus many more are either uninformed or misinformed. 

The future of society after the pandemic is subject to speculation. However, we first need to lessen the spread and once these guidelines are met, maybe we can finally get back to normal.