I have spent the entire afternoon and evening talking to people who are either employees that are getting laid off / watching other people getting laid off or are employers trying to work through what facilities are available to avoid laying off employees. I have to say, this is spiraling out of control a lot faster than I thought it would. It would not surprise me if half the country is out of work by the end of the week.
And the main concern driving these decisions is uncertainty. People do not know if they are going to have business in six months, so they aren’t moving forward on anything.
At this point, I do not understand why governments do not mandate that vulnerable populations shelter in place and activate the National Guard to deliver supplies to them and conduct welfare checks / transport them to the hospital if needed. Then let everyone else return to business as usual.
Right now, the hoarders wiping the stores clean are helping the virus make it to the most vulnerable populations, because they now have to make to several different stores to get essentials. Amazon is now inundated with third parties price gouging things like canned goods. There’s no logistical reason this should be happening, except the governments are exacerbating the panic and even making it profitable rather than managing it.
My understanding is that most of the people who are showing up at hospitals demanding to be evaluated or tested are being turned away unless there is evidence that they actually need to be hospitalized. They are telling people to go home and stay home.
I think there’s a pretty good chance that this virus has already been working its way through our country for months now and it’s not what academics are making it out to be. There’s just not any testing being done on a large scale to confirm that one way or another, so the scientists are assuming that they are dealing with something that only recently made it over here. In the absence of real data, they are assuming the worst, and that assumption is more disruptive than anything.
Even in the affected countries, most of the cases and testing are focused on specific institutions that have a disproportionate number of severe cases. For example, in Korea, it was centered around a single massive church. Here we have a single nursing home that was responsible for many of the deaths. Instead of having the state take over the nursing homes and ensuring that there is quality care for the elderly, they are choosing to lock down the entire city. It’s bonkers.
One of the things that really bothers me about this event is the path dependency of bad decision-making.