Teach people to think in terms of harm reduction

“One thing I notice is that when people ask me a question, they say ‘yet.’ ‘Can I do this yet?’’’ said Amesh Adalja, an expert on emerging infectious disease and pandemic preparedness at Johns Hopkins. “And I say, ‘There is no ‘yet.’”

He suggests borrowing a page from the harm reduction work that has been done to address sexually transmitted diseases and the opioid epidemic — helping people figure out the risks they face and how to navigate them.

“We have to get better at individual risk calculus,” Adalja said. “It’s not something that people are very good at. And I think that’s why when bars opened in certain places it was like the whole town turned 21.”