Research proves: to fight the pandemic, you need not close borders, but resettle cities

Researcher Massimiliano Zanin from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Physics and Complex Systems in Spain presented a new concept for dealing with epidemics. Together with his colleagues, he conducted 10, 000 simulations of the development of a situation when the authorities do not close the foci of infection, but allow one-way migration from there. The result was provocative - the thousand-year experience of fighting infectious diseases has exhausted itself.

The classic solution to problems with infections in the medieval style was to isolate the infected settlement, and "there, whatever you are lucky." Modern methods are more humane, but the basis is the same - to close the borders, first external and then internal, and also wait.

Spanish scientists propose a different method: to settle large cities, moving people to the countryside. The movement is organized in only one direction, roadblocks are set up, which allow only healthy people to pass, and the infected are returned to the cities. They will not be able to filter everyone and the level of infection in the villages will rise, but the overall indicator for the country will greatly decrease.

Suppose that initially 90% of people live in cities, 10% in villages, and we see an outbreak with a forecast of 35% of the population being infected within a few months. Leaving many healthy people in physical proximity with a small number of infected people poses an obvious risk. But if you allow them to escape from danger and take refuge in the countryside, then Zanin's modeling shows a decrease in infection by a third, up to 23%. This is not a panacea at all, but a worthy occasion to discuss new strategies for dealing with a pandemic.