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Alone Against the Virus

As governments around the world scramble to contain its spread, entire cities have been sealed off. Schools have been closed. Hundreds of thousands—in all likelihood, millions—of people are in quarantine. The U.S. response has been delayed, perhaps catastrophically, by failures in the scale-up of testing for the virus. We have no valid estimates—not even within orders of magnitude—of the number of infections here. But cities and localities are beginning to follow what businesses and universities had already begun to do: recommending or mandating “social distancing” measures such as limits on public events to stave off a tidal wave of sickness that could swamp our health care system.

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