We Need a Rational Approach to Reopening

Our postdoc Alex Viguerie, together with Patrick Viguerie, CEO of Innosight, have recently authored an editorial We Need a Rational Approach to Reopening, in the Harvard Business Review. The piece addresses the issue of post-pandemic reopening, and is addressed to decision-makers in both government and industry. The guiding principle is that of granularity, one which discourages prescribed, one-size-fits-all solutions and encourages that solutions be tailored to the specific needs of a given region, industry, or company. Additionally, the piece stresses the importance of problem framing, and suggests that the proper way to understand the problem is as a saddle-point problem, in which one seeks to maximize one quantity while minimizing the other (for instance, minimizing new cases of COVID-19 while maximizing jobs retained).

Though the editorial is a non-technical article written for general audiences, many of the insights have resulted from the recent work of the CompMech group on COVID-19 modeling. This work has emphasized the heterogeneous nature of the contagion patterns, with large variations in risk depending on local factors among different regions.

This has been an international effort also involving researchers from RWTH Aachen GroupEmory University and the ODEN institute of the University of Texas at Austin. Early results from this effort have been recently published in the journal Applied Mathematics Letters and can be viewed here.

June 10th, 2020

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