“Control is a simple word that, in the realm of infectious disease, doesn’t come with a sharp definition. It is possible, in some cases, to roughly anchor the concept to epidemiological goals—cutting cases of X disease by Y percentage by Z year, say; organizations such as the World Health Organization have set benchmarks like this for the control of measlesmalaria, and tuberculosis. For COVID, too, we may eventually agree upon “milestones to measure where you’re at,” Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, told me.”



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