How Should We Keep Our Communities Safe?
*Note that this is a prepublication draft for testing. We would appreciate your feedback as you use this draft framework in your communities. Please visit our post-forum response survey to share your insights.
Scroll down for the COVID-19 and Vaccines issue advisory and other related materials.
As the United States slowly emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, many questions remain about what communities should do over the long run to keep people safe, get their local economies moving again, and prepare for future outbreaks.
This issue advisory presents three options for moving forward, each coming from a different perspective and each reflecting a different set of ideas about what should be done. Most people will find something to agree with in all three approaches, but each also has trade-offs, risks, or drawbacks that need to be taken into account and worked through.
In thinking about different ways to approach the problem, we will consider such questions as:
- How much should we change our lives to adapt to the virus?
- What responsibilities does each of us have to our neighbors?
- How should we weigh the community’s health against the need for more people to go back to work?
- How much weight do we put on reaching consensus and avoiding the controversies and divisions that may emerge?
These are not the only possible options, nor the only questions. They are starting points for weighing alternatives and reaching a sound judgment.