April 30, 2020, 4:42 PM EDT
As coronavirus cases surpassed one million in the U.S. this week, groups in many states are continuing to protest, urging their governors to lift lockdown regulations and reopen businesses.
Marya Ghazipura, an epidemiologist and biostatistician in New York City, spoke with Yahoo Life to discuss the extreme risks that come with lifting social distancing measures too quickly. “We don't want a complete resurgence where we're back to where we started,” she explains.
To understand what part we play in the trajectory of the virus, Ghazipura says we first need to understand the three phases of any pandemic or epidemic.
“There's widespread transmission, there's low-level transmission and then there's no transmission. We are still on the widespread transmission moment,” she explains.
While we remain in the widespread transmission phase, stay-at-home orders greatly help reduce the number of cases overwhelming hospitals across the country. Ghazipura knows the devastating impact the virus has had on her city’s healthcare workers first-hand, her husband is a pulmonologist working on the frontline with COVID-19 patients at a New York City hospital. “I know it's tiring and cumbersome to stay at home for as long as you do,” she shares, “but it's privileged to be able to be at home. It really is.”