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Old 03-23-2020, 08:17 AM
joema is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 662
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post equal policy choice, advocated by others not me, have been to let this play out as for the vast majority of people the symptoms are minor and they quickly recover, and the flip side is the complete destruction of our economy..
A number of reasonable people have made that argument. The extreme economic cost of an economic shut down must be weighed against both moral *and* economic cost of possibly millions of people dying in the U.S.

The latest models show if it "played out" unhindered it might cause over 2 million American deaths. This does not include all the people that would die from heart attacks, etc. due to receiving inadequate treatment from a collapsed healthcare system.

That same study showed that even moderate mitigation might still entail 1 million U.S. fatalities. Even if that was reduced to 500,000, the question is whether the extreme economic cost is a worthwhile societal tradeoff -- especially if it later appears the shutdown must be maintained for many months to achieve that.

There is another option which is being discussed, which is segregate people by age, and keep those 60+ years old under shelter in place, and let younger people go back to work. But even younger people have morbidity and mortality risk.

A variant of this is wait until serology tests are available, detecting those who have successfully recovered, then send those people back to work since they are possibly immune for at least a year.

The current PCR tests can only detect if a person actively has COVID-19, not after they recovered from it. Serology testing when available would likely be cheaper, faster and more amenable to mass automation. These are already being trialed in certain places and might be available within a few months.