There are those who say that we couldn’t have known these outcomes early on, so even if lockdowns were unjustified later they were still necessary early due to lack of information. That is plainly false. Italy’s alarming number of deaths fanned many of the early fears across the world, but by March 17 it was clear that the median age of Italian deaths was over 80 and that not a single person under 30 had died in that country. Furthermore, it was known that 99% of those who died had other existing illnesses.
A much more rational strategy would have been to lock down nursing homes and let young healthy people out to build immunity. Instead we did the opposite, we forced nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients and locked down young people.
There are now places like Santa Clara County in California, entering its third month of lockdown despite COVID-19 patients occupying less than 2% of hospital capacity and none on ventialtors. Yet there are 2 million county residents effectively under house arrest. Some doctors and nurses in the area had their pay cut by 20% so hospitals could avoid bankruptcy, reflecting perhaps the epitome of this senseless catastrophe.