“It is possibly the dumbest debate we’re having,” said Jha, who has written articles for the Atlantic proposing some solutions. “People are being incredibly simplistic and are not thinking through this beyond the next two weeks. The number of people who have emailed me and said, have you thought about the economic effects? You know, it turns out, I’ve thought about that!”

Jha said he spoke to a policymaker at the White House and urged that the government not set a date for relaunching normal commercial activity until it’s clear how the virus spreads or is contained. But on Tuesday, Trump said he wants to reopen businesses by Easter, which is April 12…

Cathleen Kaveny, a professor of law and theology at Boston College, said people are talking about the economy and the coronavirus-directed shutdown in ways that don’t make sense.

“We’re talking about a planned moment of rest. We’re not talking about an uncontrolled crash,” she said. “The economy is important because it allows people to flourish. It isn’t a demigod we sacrifice human beings to.”