Exit Strategies for COVID-19: An Application of the K-SEIR Model (Presentation Slides)
52 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 16, 2020
Six weeks after becoming a pandemic, COVID-19 has caused over 150,000 deaths across 210 countries. Governments around the world have instituted universal lockdowns to curve the spread of this serious disease. While it is obvious that extended universal lockdowns have saved lives that otherwise would have been lost to COVID-19, they have also caused historical losses of livelihoods. Universal lockdowns are particularly detrimental to minorities and the working class, who have suffered the greatest job loss since the Great Depression. In some countries, unemployment carries the loss of access to health services, which is the opposite of what lockdowns intended to achieve. Hundreds of millions of citizens worldwide will endure the effects of universal lockdowns for years to come.
Universal lockdowns are a blunt tool that should be used tactically, for brief periods of time. In this study, we introduce a new mathematical model (called K-SEIR) to simulate the outcomes of lockdowns, and help evaluate various exit strategies. We demonstrate that targeted lockdowns can achieve better outcomes than universal lockdowns, in terms of (1) saving lives, (2) protecting the most vulnerable in society (the elderly, the poor), and (3) preventing the depletion of medical resources.
There is not one solution that fits all. National governments must devise tailored targeted lockdowns, based on their particular circumstances. We hope that the K-SEIR model will help governments learn from the mistakes of the COVID-19 crisis management, and help prepare society for COVID-20.
Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, SEIR, case fatality rate, reproductive numbers, lockdowns
JEL Classification: G0, G1, G2, G15, G24, E44
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation