During CNN’s global town hall on the public health crisis, Marcus said a possible side-effect of attempting to totally eliminate the risk of spreading the virus (which she accepted is currently not possible) was people shaming others on social media “for what seems to be risky behavior,” driving those activities underground, possibly to an indoor dinner party, “which we know is going to be actually higher risk.”
“The last thing we want is for contact tracers to be trying to trace people who may have been exposed in an outbreak and people not being willing to disclose they attended an event,” she said.
Marcus instead advocated, going forward, for a harm-reduction approach where people are equipped with the knowledge and tools to differentiate between high and low-risk activities.
It was because, she acknowledged, people can’t stay inside forever or until a vaccine is developed, which could take several months or even years.
Marcus noted how “up until now we’ve had kind of an all-or-nothing approach where we’ve really been telling people to stay home, which is really what we needed to do for the first couple of months.”
A more sustainable approach for the long-term was now needed, she said.
To that end, Marcus said she was “very happy” to hear Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the Trump White House’s coronavirus task force, encouraging people during the same town hall to “go out” over Memorial Day weekend (while still avoiding crowds, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance).
“I think that’s the approach we need moving forward, is to encourage people to be outdoors where we know the risk of transmission is much lower,” said Marcus.
Check out the interview here:
And Fauci’s comments here:
- Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
- 7 essential pieces of relationship advice for couples in quarantine
- What you need to know about face masks right now
- How to tell if you need to start doing online therapy
- Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know.
- Parenting during the coronavirus crisis?
- The HuffPost guide to working from home
- What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
Everyone deserves accurate information about COVID-19. Support journalism without a paywall — and keep it free for everyone — by becoming a HuffPost member today.