The 4 things the US is doing wrong in the fight against COVID-19, and what we should be doing instead

covid memorial Chris Duncan, whose 75 year old mother Constance died from COVID on her birthday, photographs a COVID Memorial Project installation of 20,000 American flags on the National Mall as the United States counted 200,000 lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic, September 22, 2020 in Washington, DC.Win McNamee/Getty Images

Summary List Placement

After a year of pandemic life, better days appear to be on the horizon.

“By July the 4th, there’s a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a BBQ and celebrate Independence Day,” President Biden said Thursday, on the one year anniversary of World Health Organization’s pandemic declaration. 

Biden’s projection lines up well with what other experts have said: by this summer, things won’t be perfect, but we will be living life again, reconnecting with family and friends. 

Yet the virus will still be with us well beyond then for many, many months to come. Even as tens of millions of vaccines have started to take effect, the relief they provide is muffled by the fact that there are still no great treatments for this coronavirus yet. 

“This is not the last pandemic we’re all gonna face, and we will need to do much, much better next time around,” Brown University dean of public health Ashish Jha told reporters on the pandemic’s anniversary this week.

“We just can’t repeat this performance again, it has been so awful,” he said.

Knowing that, here are the four things we could clearly be doing better to live alongside the virus more safely and more tolerably, right now.