Let’s stop fooling ourselves. All wars have casualties, and the war on COVID-19 is and will continue to take its toll on lives in a variety of ways. But right now, the real questions our leaders should be answering are:
- What is your casualty threshold for COVID-19 when balancing that against the economic impacts of the virus?
- To get 30 million people back to work, are you OK with 100 thousand, 250 thousand, 500 thousand, a million people dead?
- How many deaths are you willing to accept in exchange for an economic recovery?
All lives have value, and every person who dies from COVID-19 is someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, friend or neighbor. There are faces on everyone of those death statistics, just as there are faces on the family sitting in a mile-long line at a food bank. There is no easy answer, and we should try to limit the damage on both sides of the equation; however, the reality is that economies recover but those who have died, do not.
As we race to open up the country, the number of cases will increase again, as too many people and places are refusing to make sensible choices based on individual wants and needs. Unfortunately, those choices can and most likely will impact the lives of people who were not ready to die, but did so none the less.
So to our leaders, how many people are you willing to accept as casualties so that the economy can start to recover? It is a fair question, and most likely an answer they have already answered privately.