So this kind of thinking really irks me. I don't mean to take this out on you (I heart you Dan)What's happening in Italy and Spain is awful. NYC is seeing some of that as well, as Covid-19 ravages the aged.
Just a little perspective though (from the CDC):
From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States due to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus.
Current US is ~1,300.
Current flu deaths for this season is >25,000.
Additionally, CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died from (H1N1)pdm09 virus infection during the first year the virus circulated.**
Current worldwide is <30K.
Yes, it's a pandemic and it's a terrible thing, but we are still well below where the flu has taken us already every year for as long as people can remember.
So I too keep going back and forth on the current response to Covid in the US. It seems awfully drastic to tank the economy over a few deaths, but China did the same thing as is every country that gets it. I’ve never seen a disease spread so effortlessly with horrific, yet probably acceptable results by the time it’s all over. Like Nacho, I did not even realize swine flu was in the US and certainly did not witness a panick.Another thing to remember is that the (bulk of the) people dying from CVD are those who would die from any serious illness they contract. They are the elderly and the immunocompromised. This is very much true in Italy (thus its huge numbers - look up the demographics of the areas hardest hit there) and it is true here as well (look at the facilities and neighborhoods hardest hit here). What CVD brings to the table is significantly higher virulence and no vaccine as of yet (flu does). If we can keep it away from the soft targets such as elder communities, nursing homes and chronic care hospitals, it is actually not that harmful to the greater population. Even less so by some accounts than the regular or H1N1 flu.
Do we need to take precautions for the sake of the most at risk? Absolutely. Should we tank the economy indefinitely and double our debt for it? As of now, there is not enough data to say that is even close to necessary to protect the lives of the vast vast majority of the people. Let's not get into the anecdotal stuff. People can have undiagnosed compromised systems. Yes, some younger people have died, but without full autopsies, there's no way to know if it was actually an underlying heart or lung condition that something else would just as easily exacerbated.
My feeling is that we should - now that everybody has gotten a dose of reality and has hopefully picked up some good hygiene habits - start to step back from the full shutdown to start allowing the healthy to begin to return to their workplaces and begin living their lives again, particularly in the places that are far from being hot zones. People need to make money to pay their rent/mortgage, buy food and live their lives.
Certainly smaller places are lagging, but they will also have much smaller peaks from having a longer heads-up to prepare (and from our natural state of social distancing). It's not that smaller places aren't taking things seriously, it's just that most of them don't have a ton of gatherings to begin with. We have no subway system, and there were no scheduled Fish concerts. When they've already eliminated school, church, little-league, and restaurants, that's 97% of small town social activity. There's little left to cut back on, so might as well let people continue to live and "be smart, stay apart" ...or something like that.My feeling is things will be on the mend by May, but April is going to suck in a lot of smaller places that aren't taking things seriously now. The big cities will flare up, but they have enough resources and publicity to get a handle on it after a week or two.