This week I was introduced to a board game called Pandemic. In the game, players are up against the clock to find the cure to viral outbreaks and contain them before they spread across the entire globe.

What makes Pandemic especially unique is that, unlike most games, it’s cooperative. Players are not opponents, as they are in, say, Monopoly. Instead, they must work as a team to eliminate the viral threat, or die trying.

The real-life situation involving COVID-19 is very much the same. Preventing the spread of this disease will require the vigilance and cooperation of everyone on the planet in some capacity or another. While we await treatments and a vaccine to be developed, the most impactful thing people can do is keep their distance from others and, of course, wash their hands. To that end, California, New York and now Illinois have imposed stay-at-home orders this week, joining a growing number of countries, some of which are fining people and companies that choose not to comply. People entering Australia from abroad right now face up to $11,000 in fines and six months in jail for ignoring a 14-day self-isolation quarantine.

These extreme measures appear to be having great success, particularly in Asian countries. Whereas the number of cases continues to rise in Italy, Spain, Iran and elsewhere, the number has begun to stabilize, if not plateau, in Asian countries.

Spread of COVID-19 has slowed in Asian countries
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Synchrony among central banks and finance ministers will also be key in softening the virus’s economic and financial blow, which by some projections will be unprecedented. Goldman Sachs estimates that the U.S. economy could contract as much as 24 percent—roughly one-fourth—in the second quarter alone.

Such a drop, according to Goldman analysts, “would be nearly two-and-a-half times the size of the largest quarterly decline in the history of the modern GDP statistics.”