All levels of government are authorized to apply coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) protection measures; however, they must consider how and when to ease lockdown restrictions to limit long-term societal harm and societal instability. Leaders that use a well-considered framework with an incremental approach will be able to gradually restart society while simultaneously maintaining the public health benefits achieved through lockdown measures. Economically vulnerable populations cannot endure long-term lockdown, and most countries lack the ability to maintain a full nationwide relief operation. Decision-makers need to understand this risk and how the Maslow hierarchy of needs and the social determinants of health can guide whole of society policies. Aligning decisions with societal needs will help ensure all segments of society are catered to and met while managing the crisis. This must inform the process of incremental easing of lockdowns to facilitate the resumption of community foundations, such as commerce, education, and employment in a manner that protects those most vulnerable to COVID-19. This study proposes a framework for identifying a path forward. It reflects on baseline requirements, regulations and recommendations, triggers, and implementation. Those desiring a successful recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic need to adopt an evidence-based framework now to ensure community stabilization and sustainability.
- public health
- risk management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health