In the spring of 2020, the initial surge of COVID-19 infections and deaths was flattened using a combination of economic shutdowns and noneconomic non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). The possibility of a second wave of infections and deaths raises the question of what interventions can be used to significantly reduce deaths while supporting, not preventing, economic recovery. We use a five-age epidemiological model combined with sixty-six-sector economic accounting to examine policies to avert and to respond to a second wave. We find that a second round of economic shutdowns alone are neither sufficient nor necessary to avert or quell a second wave. In contrast, noneconomic NPIs, such as wearing masks and personal distancing, increasing testing and quarantine, reintroducing restrictions on social and recreational gatherings, and enhancing protections for the elderly together can mitigate a second wave while leaving room for an economic recovery.


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pp. 385-443
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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