The lockdown strategy used to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) has disrupted the global economy . Some countries have started reopening their economies under the threat of a second wave because studies show that only 4% of the population is infected so far and more waves will be needed to achieve herd immunity . Lockdowns have been used with a primary purpose of regulating the demand for healthcare while ignoring the economic consequences . Contrary to the lockdown strategy, some countries such as Brazil have given priority to their economy leading to very high infection and mortality rates . After a first wave of the pandemic, we now know something critically important-those who are likely to become seriously ill and potentially die if SARS-CoV-2 infection is not prevented . That information cannot be ignored in our strategy and is used to control the pandemic . The paper proposes to focus on managing the risk of the virus being transmitted to the vulnerable rather than focusing on controlling all who can potentially transmit it . It argues that only 4% of the global population is at high risk of severe COVID-19 and would require hospital admission if infected . We propose to target this 4% of the population for preventive efforts . Protecting the vulnerable via lockdowns and other measures will be more effective and efficient than locking down the entire population and destroying their economies that are equally critical to life . We hypothesize that such``targeted prevention"strategies are more likely to help achieve our goals : 1) reduce mortality by preventing the infection reaching its potential victims , 2) spend the resources efficiently by knowing the``target"of our preventive efforts, and 3) achieve effective and efficient control of the pandemic without causing disruption to the socio-economic activities until an effective vaccine is available.