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Don’t Touch Your Face

Don’t Touch Your Face: The Way Out

A man, wearing a face mask as a preventive measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus, walks past food stalls in a neighborhood in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province, on April 20.
A man, wearing a face mask as a preventive measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus, walks past food stalls in a neighborhood in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province, on April 20. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

On this week’s episode: What needs to be done before the lockdowns can be lifted.

The Chinese city of Wuhan, once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, gradually began to lift its lockdown on April 8. It was a sign of hope to many around the world that in the city where the pandemic began, life was slowly returning to normal. But what has to happen before countries can look to ease restrictions on movements, without opening the door to a resurgence of infections? Is a consistent fall in new cases enough? Or does there need to be a rapid expansion in testing capabilities and contact tracing?

To help answer these questions, Don’t Touch Your Face hosts James Palmer and Amy Mackinnon are joined by NPR’s Beijing correspondent Emily Feng, who was in Wuhan the day the lockdown was eased, and Wafaa El-Sadr, the director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs at Columbia University and a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.

Further Reading

Wuhan’s Breakfast Tradition Is Back As Coronavirus Lockdown Ends, NPR

WHO Sets 6 Conditions For Ending A Coronavirus Lockdown, NPR

How the Economy Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic, Foreign Policy

About Don’t Touch Your Face:  On the last day of 2019, China reported an unusual outbreak in Wuhan, a port city with a population of 11 million. Within two months, the disease would spread to almost every continent on the globe and kill thousands of people. From Foreign Policy, a podcast about the extent of the COVID-19 contagion, the threat it poses, and what countries are doing to contain it. Join FP’s James Palmer and Amy Mackinnon as they track the spread of the virus and explore what it means for people’s everyday lives. Have a coronavirus question for us to explore? Email it to donttouchyourface@foreignpolicy.com.  See All Episodes

More Don’t Touch Your Face episodes:

Don’t Touch Your Face: What the AIDS Epidemic Tells Us About COVID-19

On our final episode (for now), we examine an older public health crisis and the lessons it offers.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Dating During Covid-19

On this week’s episode: How the pandemic is changing the way we meet people.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Pandemic Within a Pandemic

On this week’s episode: How the world may see more protests as lockdowns lift.

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