The epidemiological evidence was never that complicated, and neither was devising a sensible national strategy to get us through the winter.

– If viral aerosols from talking are the most common vector of COVID-19 transmission … we should encourage universal mask wearing, social distancing among people from different households, and quiet in public spaces.

– If these aerosolized particles spread easily in unventilated indoor spaces … we should shut down and bail out indoor businesses that naturally invite crowding and talking, such as bars.

– If symptomatic individuals don’t just talk but also often cough and sneeze … we should create a national quarantine system to separate them from their families and a contract-tracing system to identify potentially infected individuals and ask them to isolate.

– If a large number of infected people will be asymptomatic … we should invest early in a mass-testing apparatus to quickly identify silent carriers.