I think that the opening of Daniel Henninger’s Wall Street Journal column has it about right:
The threat in March of a Covid-19 apocalypse worked: From coast to coast, the $21 trillion U.S. economy essentially shut down. Today in all 50 states, the experience with coronavirus has peaked, plateaued or fallen, and the time has arrived to start identifying lessons learned.
The past week’s events have revealed one rule of thumb: Whether the order comes from political leaders, epidemiologists or the media, you can get away with forcing the U.S. to shut down for about three months, but that’s it. Then the tides of human nature will push past the voices of authority. For better or worse, that’s just the way it is.
all of which should have been foreseen back in March. And consider this:
In New York, total deaths are 29,730. In Missouri, they are 697. For all the attention California and Gov. Gavin Newsom have received, its death rate per 100,000 population is 10, one more than Vermont’s.
As Mr. Henninger points out the experience with COVID-19 has varied tremendously across the country with most of the country experiencing only minor outbreaks. Here in Illinois if your gauge is hospital bed, ICU, or ventilator utilization, a meltdown of the healthcare system due to COVID-19 has never been a threat. As I asked some time ago, how much better is 30% excess capacity than 40%? It does have a cost. The state’s hospitals now have about eight times as many ventilators as COVID-19 patients on ventilators, the ventilators aren’t free, and they have a shelf life.