Many public officials cite economic concerns as the reason to not take more drastic action, but many top economists argue that the long-term health of our economy is tied to suppressing the virus. A pandemic with a longer duration or more dire effects will only prolong economic damage. The only way to get the economy back on track is to get the pandemic under control. The key message from our public officials should be that, unless you’re an essential worker — a health care worker, a grocery clerk, a food bank worker, etc. — the best thing you can do for society right now is to stay home. Federal lawmakers should pass legislation that gives Americans the financial, medical and emotional support they need to do so — so we can control the pandemic and get back to normal more quickly. Waiting to take bold action until hospitals fill up even more would be a waste of human life, especially with the prospect of widely available vaccines so close on the horizon. Our public officials should pull the wool from their eyes and take necessary steps to save lives now.