rjlittlefield wrote:I'm a simple man.
The observed mortality rate for New York City currently stands at 0.2267%, trusting todays' figures from the New York Times. Multiplying that number times the population of the U.S. gives 744,000 deaths, if things got "only" as bad as they have been in NYC to date. The corresponding numbers are 89,600 for California and 16,200 for my own state of Washington.
It would be an interesting conversation -- though not one for this forum -- to debate whether avoiding those deaths is worth the economic cost of the shutdown, or for that matter, whether we actually are avoiding the deaths or just spreading them out so as not to crash the healthcare system.
I for one am pleased that I don't have to make decisions along the lines of "Let's trade X thousand lives for Y billion $$ of GDP." (Let's see, that would be X/Y million dollars per life...yeah, seems like the right sort of unit.)
It seems a stretch to assume that every single person in the US will be infected, so perhaps that model is too
simple. That 0.2267% is probably also suspect (as is anything from the NYT), though I have no idea in what direction as it is the lowest rate I've heard. There is also nearly zero data on the effectiveness of the lockdown. Did it help? Or did forcing folks to be locked at home spread the virus faster due to its much higher infection rate? Did we shoot ourselves in the foot and increase the infection and mortality rates by shutting folks in their homes, while simultaneously shooting ourselves in the head with the shutdown? I suppose we will know some of these answers in the next few months, and that a model to answer them "correctly" simply can't exist due to so many unknowns.