Not one of these groups/people predicting the progress of this disease is clairvoyant or has a monopoly on seeing the future. Also, a lot of the predictions we read in the public are worse-case scenarios laid out by people who are intentionally trying to prepare for unlikely but possible outcomes, but those reports are not presented in the press that way. Or that approach is mentioned only in small print in the last paragraph.
McDonald, regardless of her politics, makes a point at least worth thinking about--how do we balance the real, significant damage to lives that this kind of economic shutdown entails against hypothetical COVID-19 deaths averted? We make these risk/reward calculations all the time in society. A large number of us smoke cigarettes, we all drive, many of us are overweight, many of us risk our lives and our health in very dangerous recreational activities. We are not so risk-averse when we feel in control of the exposure.
I seem to remember reading that one of the European countries (Sweden??) was trying a "business as usual for everyone under 60" approach with complete "isolation" regulations for those over 70. Honest question, would that be better? Go crazy overboard protecting the most likely victims of severe reaction to the virus, but let herd immunity expand in the general population who goes about their daily lives somewhat normally (of course staying home if sick, washing hands, coughing into their elbows, etc.)?
One of my wife's co-workers was, before this virus, a year away from retirement. With the loss in her 401k she is now probably not retiring, maybe ever. Two small businesses in the local town I live in are closing. Colleges are closing, but not refunding tuition or, in many cases, room and board either (which seems to me grossly unfair). Our church runs a pre-school education center which is closed. We can pay the teachers for 2 weeks, but after that they will be on their own (they can't get unemployment due to PA rule on non-profits). The hairdressers and nail salons and barbers and cooks and housecleaners and the like often are not sure where their next meal is coming from. Our charitable organizations are trying to help, but stay-at-home advice is hampering our efforts, too. And this is in a county that really has only had one case of COVID-19.
What is the right approach? I'm curious what you all think...