I personally don’t have a problem with the initial response. We were faced with something new that we didn’t know anything about, and we watched it rip through Iran and Italy like a tornado. The early data, GIGO as it may have been, said “hunker down until we figure this out.”
Well, as we say in Texas, “Now we done figgered it out”, at least to a far larger extent than we had before. We know who is at risk of serious disease complications and who is not; we know tons more about how it’s transmitted; and we have a few tricks up our sleeve regarding how to treat the seriously ill.
The hyperbolic predictions of “piled up body bags” for Texas and Georgia have not come to pass. Cases rise a bit, but mostly due to increased testing rather than re-opens. Deaths in the non-risk groups are rounding errors to the overall statistics, and none of our health care facilities have come anywhere’s near capacity.
Many people in this country have a big problem with “peeling the onion” when it comes to public policy. The pro-lockdown advocates are not peeling the onion; they can’t see the longer-term repurcussions of a conservative lockdown strategy. The states are about to go into their budgetary cycles for the next fiscal year. The states which are dragging their feet on phased re-opening will soon realize that they can’t fund essential public services without substantial tax increases AND nonessential cutbacks.
Unfortunately, stating that to the “lockitalldown” folks goes in one ear and out the other.
70–80% of state budgets are education and health care. This doesn’t become real to them until state, county, and city hospitals have to start shutting down or markedly curtailing care due to lack of funding. It doesn’t become real to them until they get a note in the mail stating that due to budget cuts, 1/4 of all elementary schools will not open in the fall, and their kids will have to be bussed to a different school, where they will sit in a classroom of not 23 children, but 40. This doesn’t become real to them until their college-age kid cannot major in what they want to major in, because local colleges have had to cut 1/3 of non-STEM courses and majors.
Those are hypotheticals, of course. Each state will make some adjustments on taxes and cutbacks as they see fit. But the notion that we can somehow lockdown until risk to all = 0% must be dispelled. It’s deadly.