Last month, facing the prospect of overwhelmed hospitals and unchecked spread of the novel coronavirus, seven Bay Area county and city health departments joined forces to become the first region in the nation to pass sweeping regulations ordering millions of people indoors and shuttering the local economy.
It shocked people, but health experts around the country applauded the bold step, which since has been broadly replicated.
They also say it can’t go on forever. And so Bay Area leaders, along with others around the nation, are trying to figure out how we can resume something akin to normal life without triggering a catastrophic wave of illness and death.
The shelter-in-place orders were a sledgehammer response to two colliding realities: a little-understood virus that is proving ferociously deadly in