If certain words mark the initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are uncertainty, confusion, and hope. This trio of words can be applied to the COVID-19 pandemic in a number of different ways, including in regard to combating the spread of the novel coronavirus and what the future holds in store. In addition, a good deal of the early response to this healthcare crisis has been to wait, and hunker down, hoping that this 21st-century plague will somehow run its course. A number of infectious disease experts maintain that we need to mount a comprehensive offensive against COVID-19 – and that it’s not too late to embark on such a strategy.

Five-Part Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jim Yong Kim is the co-founder of Partners in Health, an international organization dedicated to bringing suitable healthcare to some of the most economically impoverished parts of the world. The work of Partners in Health includes developing and implementing strategies to combat different types of infectious diseases. Kim also leads the HIV-AIDS Department of the World Health Organization. He was the President of the World Bank, becoming involved in fighting Ebola in West Africa and cholera in Haiti in that capacity.

A true infectious disease expert, Kim advocates for an aggressive five-part response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The elements of this comprehensive offensive to combat the novel coronavirus are:

  • Social distancing
  • Contact tracing
  • Testing
  • Isolation
  • Treatment

Social Distancing

Social distancing is a main component of an aggressive, comprehensive offensive against COVID-19. In contemplating what success has occurred in regard to flattening the COVID-19 curve and curtailing the spread, social distancing is considered to be the most important element of accomplishing that objective. 

A considerable majority of infectious disease experts have made it patently clear that social distancing cannot be relaxed at this time. Even though businesses in different parts of the country are beginning to reopen, even though the economy is starting to reboot, social distancing tactics cannot be eliminated if we want to prevent another increase in COVID-19 infections let alone if we want to work towards reigning in and effectively eliminating the novel coronavirus.

Contact Tracing

In advocating for a strong, comprehensive offensive to end the COVID-19 crisis, Kim strongly argues that contact tracing must be a part of that strategy. He does concede that contact tracing should have started previously on a large scale. However, he also firmly states that it is not too late to begin contact tracing in an all-out offensive to quash COVID-19. 

For those unfamiliar with contact tracing, this is a process in which a person diagnosed with COVID-19 identifies those individuals with whom he or she has had contact during a specified period of time before the diagnosis occurred. These people in turn are contacted and screened for the virus. If people traced directly from the infected individual are themselves found to be infected, the contact tracing moves forward along those lines. 

Yes, this certainly is a labor-intensive process. But, contact tracing has been used successfully in the past as a tool to stop the spread of infectious disease. 

Testing

Testing must be the foundation upon which a comprehensive offensive against COVID-19 must be built. Testing must be widely available and regularly utilized until the day that the general public has ready access to an effective vaccine for COVID-19. The reality is that all of the other elements of this comprehensive offensive strategy depend upon widespread accurate testing. 

This is one area in which a notable amount of confusion exists in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. A considerable amount of misinformation has been presented to the public regarding the availability of testing. 

The bottom line is that identifying people infected by COVID-19 via testing is a paramount concern when it comes to combating the novel coronavirus. We are far from being able to do a truly appropriate amount of testing. We must do more testing, and do so as soon as possible, to win the war against COVID-19.

Isolation

Isolation is the fourth crucial element in a comprehensive battle to effectively address the COVID-pandemic. When a person is infected with COVID-19, that individual must go into quarantine until a test reveals the infection has abated.

Treatment

Finally, the fifth component of a comprehensive offensive against the novel coronavirus is an effective treatment. Ultimately, a prime objective in the fight against COVID-19 must be the successful care of infected individuals, a level of treatment that markedly lowers the mortality rate associated with the disease.

Treatment must be proactive as well. The vital need for an effective vaccine cannot be understated. 

When it comes to treatment, effective and widely used preemptive strategies to protect against infection through contaminated surfaces and objects is crucial. Effective and ongoing strategies must be implemented and maintained that work to prevent the contamination of businesses, churches, schools, and other locations with COVID-19 is vital. In addition, when contamination is suspected, rapid remediation is crucial. The issue of contamination necessitates the professional assistance of a reputable COVID-19 cleaning company.