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In a Thursday question-and-answer video, Dr. Mike Ryan that the agency recognizes the desire to open up and “go back to normal.”
“But if the desire to return to normal in that sense will sustain this pandemic for much longer than necessary, then we really need to think about it,” Ryan warned.
“I think in some situations the political pressure now is to open up and remove all restrictions of any kind so high that we can cross the runway and we may end up in a situation where – and again, I am “I’m not sure that’s going to happen, and I’m not predicting that it’s going to happen, but I’m a little nervous right now because we’re just lifting everything.”
Should the world be “hit” with another coronavirus variant and all COVID-19 measures have been “kind of abandoned”, it will “be really hard to put anything back in place,” Ryan said.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove proclaimed a “slow, step-by-step approach” rather than lifting all restrictions.
“In some countries, they are in a better position to be able to do that because they have high levels of vaccination coverage, high levels of immunity at the population level, and they have the ability to adapt,” Kerkhove said.
“But in many countries it’s bad to lift everything at once. We just have to have countries not do this all-or-nothing approach because it’s confusing and I do not blame anyone out there who is confused “But what’s important for you to hear out there, which I hope strengths, is that you have control over this.”
“And just be safe and be careful. And if we all do, if everyone does it a little bit, then the overall risks fall,” Ryan said.
“But this idea that we just want to give up everything, I think, is a very premature concept in many countries right now.”
Over the past few weeks, state and local leaders in the United States have announced decisions to revoke mask mandates and demands for proof of vaccination.
Cases and hospitalizations in the United States have declined since the rise of the omicron variant in January, but daily deaths are still high.