If we do nothing, COVID-19 goes out of control.
There is nearly universal agreement on this point. Every week the number of infected people doubles or triples, according to the best estimates of R0 today. Within about two months, hospitals start to collapse under the pressure (Italy) and can survive only by building emergency new facilities from the rest of the country (Wuhan). However, if you really are doing nothing, then two months later the rest of the country falls down and no one can help you. At this point, there are no more ICU beds left and the mortality rate goes from 2% to 5-10% because we run out of respirators. A significant portion of people currently at risk will be dead.
If we declare a state of emergency?
Schools shut down, airports virtually close, and the country goes on lockdown. All for 3,000 cases? Then if the disease is successfully suppressed a few months later, everything opens back up and we look around and ask why did that?! Why did the country shut down when the ordinary flu killed 100x more people this year? Didn’t we overreact? CNN and MSNBC will urge the Democrats to impeach President Trump.
The difference between 5,000 cases and 5 million cases is 10 weeks of inaction.
That is why governments around the world are taking severe measures now, because we are at the edge of the precipice.
The next thing that we need to do is to insure that any critical infrastructure needs such as antibiotics are made in the USA. The entire US supply chain needs to be re-evaluated for vulnerability from the Chinese. Smart business people who want things made need to consider making them in this hemisphere. The People’s Republic of China is an enemy state. We don’t need to shoot at them but we need to deal with them cautiously in all respects.
Product Labeling laws – need to be re-imagined, going forward to eliminate loopholes. Food products that are moved from the USA outside of the USA to be processed must be labeled. If they are moved to China or its surrogates there should be a PRODUCT WARNING on them. In all cases, products that are made in China or processed in China or reassembled in China or have components that are made in China need to be so marked – obviously, not fine print that requires a microscope to resolve. People can decide how they want to handle it on an individual basis. Smart people will boycott all food items that are made or processed in or touched by China.
If Europe or other parts of the world want to trust the Chinese, they can do it and take their chances. The US needs to be firm on this and it’s not a negotiated item.