Again, Gottlieb’s words ring true: “[O]lder people will die in historic numbers, middle aged folks doomed to prolonged ICU stays to fight for their lives, hospitals will be overwhelmed, and most Americans terrified to leave homes, eat out, take the subway, or go to the park.”
Let’s make this practical and personal. So long as the virus continues to spread, will you go back to airports? Will you eat at restaurants? Will you ask your employer to keep working from home if work from home is at all possible? Some of you may answer with an enthusiastic yes. But many millions of Americans would answer no, and the number that would say no would increase as they watched more and more people become seriously ill. And as friends and loved ones get sick with a disease that often strikes much harder than the flu.
Let’s not forget that the American economy is inextricably linked to the world economy, and most of the richest economies in the world are now facing their own deep challenges from Covid-19. Even if America decided all on its own to lift most of its restrictions and endure a vastly increased viral spread and death rate, it would still not enjoy the benefits of “normal” economic times.