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When Will the Pandemic End? Suggestions for US Communities to Manage Well-Being in the Face of COVID-19

  • Bliss, Clinton1
  • Musikanski, Laura2
  • Phillips, Rhonda3
  • Davidson, Larry4
  • 1 Bliss Medical Center, Seattle, WA USA
  • 2 Happiness Alliance, Seattle, WA USA
  • 3 Purdue Honors College, West Lafayette, IN USA
  • 4 Indiana University,
Published Article
International Journal of Community Well-Being
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Aug 24, 2020
DOI: 10.1007/s42413-020-00075-6
PMCID: PMC7443854
PubMed Central


With COVID-19 largely spread through communities, and the lack of a national strategy to manage the spread and impact of COVID-19 into communities in the United States (US), community well-being is at risk. Without a vaccine, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to continue for years and cause millions of deaths, primarily among the elderly and the chronically ill. A vaccine for the COVID-19 could safeguard community well-being, but cannot be counted upon at this point. We believe it is imperative for communities to form and implement strategies to manage the spread and impacts of COVID-19 and that understanding the overall death rate and for young people (ages 15–35) as well at the length of the pandemic in important to planning. We calculate an overall death rate at 1/116, a death rate of 1/3944 for young adults, and that at the current rate of infection the pandemic will last for just under 10 years or possibly indefinitely as there is no guarantee that immunity will last. Measures such as social distancing and self-quarantining are effective but have detrimental economic, educational, social and psychological impacts. Community leaders and organizers need to understand that a growing number of young people will likely not adhere to social distancing and self-quarantining indefinitely. We recommend that communities form and implement plans to managing the spread and impact of COVID-19 within a specific time frame and urge young people to adhere to measures to stop the spread for the specific time frame. Community plans should be based on a community development (CD) approach and should entail inclusive and participatory decision-making process that engaged young people. Communities should use this time to transitioning to a well-being-based local economy and implement interventions that allow for human interaction such as negative pressure ventilation and filtration of air in indoor spaces, availability of universal testing, contract tracing and the widespread use of personal powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs).

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