Stop the Insane Overreaction

Stop the Insane Overreaction, by John Hinderaker.

In the last 21 days, approximately 162,000 Americans have died. Of that number, 150 were killed by the Wuhan virus. …

By dictating a virtual cessation of economic activity, governments at all levels, but especially state and local, are causing an economic collapse the likes of which, if it continues, we have not seen since the Great Depression, if ever. When has such a government-caused disaster comparably devastated a non-socialist country? Not often.

Here is a prediction: the deaths of Americans caused by the Wuhan flu bug will be dwarfed by the suicides committed by people whose life’s savings have been wiped out, whose businesses have been bankrupted, whose jobs have been lost, and whose prospects have been blighted by the insane overreaction we now see from our governments. That overreaction must stop. Right now. Before it is too late, if it is not too late already.

Also at Powerline: Suicide’s not painless, by Scott Johnson.

The current shutdown approach to controlling the spread of the Wuhan virus can’t be “sustainable” (to borrow the cliché) for long. It is slow-motion suicide…

From the Wall Street Journal editorial “Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown”:

The deadweight loss in production will be profound and take years to rebuild. In a normal recession the U.S. loses about 5% of national output over the course of a year or so. In this case we may lose that much, or twice as much, in a month….

No society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of its overall economic health. Even America’s resources to fight a viral plague aren’t limitless—and they will become more limited by the day as individuals lose jobs, businesses close, and American prosperity gives way to poverty. America urgently needs a pandemic strategy that is more economically and socially sustainable than the current national lockdown.

Health trumps economy and politics.

We are here now. Weigh up the costs of mass infections. How does that compare with shutting the economy for a month or two? Both are high costs, but you have to compare and choose, not just moan about how one or the other is high. We don’t know the death rate precisely, but from China and Italy we know that, if the hospital system is overwhelmed, it is high. How many deaths are an acceptable cost for keeping the economy ticking over? What if the people on the front line of jobs don’t want to work for fear of infection, and stop doing their jobs anyway because we didn’t lockdown?

Speaking of politics and the political class not getting it in time, isn’t it obvious now that closing the borders back in February, rather than waiting another month until the infection had taken hold in the West, would have been massively cheaper? Where were all these Monday morning quarterbacks then? An own goal of epic proportions by a complacent and incompetent political class. Foreseeable and foreseen.