The U.S. can't resort to lockdowns to defend itself from Omicron

Fortunately (or rather, unfortunately), there are a lot of effective strategies the United States still hasn’t exploited effectively, such as better ventilation and updating building codes to require it.

We can also re-implement policies we have used to good effect. Travel bans such as the one the Biden administration announced Friday can’t stop variants from penetrating our borders, but they can slow new strains down and give us time to ramp up other mitigations, such as variant-tailored booster shots. Germany’s BioNTech says it takes about two weeks to determine whether a variant is evading the company’s vaccines — and that, if so, BioNTech could ship an updated vaccine within 100 days. A travel ban can buy us some time to protect our populations before the new variant really hits…

We need home testing kits so cheap and plentiful that everyone has piles of them everywhere. Heck, give them away in boxes of cereal. That means the FDA should approve tests even if they’re a little less accurate. If that’s not enough to make test kits ubiquitous, the U.S. government should stand up something like an Operation Warp Speed for testing.