How Journey Restrictions Work – The New York Occasions
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Good Morning. Travel restrictions have been one of the most effective pandemic responses – when they’re strict.
One of the greatest lessons from the pandemic has been the success of travel restrictions in reducing its spread. And this is a moment when they have the potential to be particularly effective in the US as terrifying coronavirus variants emerge in other countries.
President Biden appears to be realizing this and quickly reinstated some travel restrictions that President Donald Trump had lifted shortly before he left office. However, it is not yet clear whether Biden is ready to impose the strict rules that have worked best elsewhere. So far, he has not done so and has instead struck a middle ground between Trump’s approach and the one with the best global track record.
Many of the places the virus has been in have relied on travel restrictions. The list includes Australia, New Zealand, Ghana, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Canada’s four Atlantic provinces. Entry was severely restricted at important points.
There is a crucial word in this sentence: difficult. Travel bans only work if countries don’t give in to political temptation by allowing many exceptions.
It is ineffective to expel citizens from other countries while allowing your own citizens to return. “Viruses don’t care what passport you wear,” said my colleague Donald G. McNeil Jr., who has been reporting on infectious diseases since the 1990s.
Voluntary quarantines generally don’t work either. People don’t stick to them. Many take mild precautionary measures and then refer to themselves as “quarantine”. As Donald says, “In order for it to work, it has to be mandatory – and actually enforced. And not at home. “
Australia versus the USA
Australia suppressed the spread of the virus in the spring by ending its voluntary quarantine and urging all comers, including Australian citizens, to stay in a hotel for two weeks. The military then helped enforce the rules. China and some other Asian countries have taken similar steps. In eastern Canada, strict entry requirements were “one of the most successful things we have ever done,” said Dr. Susan Kirkland, a Nova Scotia officer.
Travel bans had such a big impact, Dr. Jared Baeten, a noted epidemiologist, last year that public health experts should review their longstanding skepticism about them. “Travel,” he said, “is the hallmark of the global spread of this virus.”
Last year, the US became a case study of the ineffectiveness of limited travel rules after Trump announced an entry ban from China. But it wasn’t really a ban. Among other things, this did not apply to US citizens or their immediate family members. Trump has also done little to restrict entry from Europe. Despite his claims, the restrictions had little effect.
The Biden administration now risks a repetition.
Infectious variants of the virus are spreading in Brazil and South Africa and could be even more dangerous than a variant previously found in the UK, scientists say. In response, Biden restricts entry from Europe, Brazil, and South Africa, but the policy has several exceptions: Americans can return home from these locations if they recently tested negative, although the test result may not be current.
The travel bans policy is certainly delicate. Corporations worry about the economic impact (as New Yorker’s Lawrence Wright noted in a fascinating radio interview with Terry Gross). Progressives worry about stirring up anti-immigration views. And it’s already too late to keep the variants completely out of the USA.
Even so, travel restrictions can still save many lives. The US is in a race to vaccinate as many people as possible before they catch the virus. The new variants are the biggest new challenge in this race. “I’m concerned about these variations,” said Dr. Vivek Murthy, co-chair of the Biden Virus Task Force, on the first episode of Ezra Klein’s Times podcast.
Biden’s travel restrictions will almost certainly have an impact as some infected people will be kept out. But Biden’s policies stop minimizing the spread of the virus.
Jan. 26, 2021, 4:31 p.m. ET
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A celebration of books
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the New York Times book review. It began in 1896 and was originally called the Saturday Review of Books and Art. The first issue – eight pages – contained an article on Oscar Wilde’s prison experience and another on department stores that pose a threat to independent booksellers.
Most of the reviewers in the early days were anonymous and simply summarized the books. “There weren’t that many opinions,” said Tina Jordan, an editor whose new book on the history of the book review is due out in October. “There were of course exceptions; A handful of books were completely destroyed on our sites. “Some headlines:” Worthless Edition of a Bad Anthology “,” Two Pathetic Novels “,” Various Novels: Some Worth Reading and Others Not Worth Printing “.
Earlier versions of the section were also less strict about conflicts of interest. “James Baldwin and Langston Hughes checked each other out in the 1950s,” said Pamela Paul, the book review editor. “Neither was particularly nice.”
Here you will find 25 old reviews from well-known personalities. These include Bill Gates, John F. Kennedy, Vladimir Nabokov, Toni Morrison, Patti Smith, and Eudora Welty, who briefly served as the editor of the book review during World War II.
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Here’s today’s mini crossword puzzle and a hint: sit back and relax (five letters).
Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. Until tomorrow. – David
PS A hidden haiku in Bill Gates’ Times review of Yuval Noah Harari’s book, “What will give our lives / meaning in the decades and / or centuries to come?”
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