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Paradox of success and public perspective: COVID-19 and the perennial problem of prevention
  1. Shari Messinger Cayetano1,2,
  2. Lee Crandall3
  1. 1Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA
  2. 2University of Miami
  3. 3Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Shari Messinger Cayetano, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33136-1015, USA; smessinger{at}

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Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, some were speculating that, if social distancing worked, growth (spread) slowed and hospital capacity was not exceeded (all of which were purposes of imposing the restrictions), then people would start saying that precautions were unnecessary, and demand a quick return to ‘normal’.

That appears to be where we are now. The flattening of the disease curve and the reduction from the predicted number of deaths in many areas are the results of the actions taken to reduce spread. However, that does not mean that the pandemic is over, nor does it mean that it is time to eliminate the protective measures we have taken. The slowdown is evidence that the social distancing tools are …

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