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America Must Recalibrate Its Response To Future Outbreaks

Robert Dimuro

Posted on April 5, 2020 15:00

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The containment of the Coronavirus by shutting down the economy may be a futile and unsustainable effort.

Everyone agrees that the Coronavirus is a serious pandemic that requires collective action to mitigate. However, the collective response may be incorrectly prioritizing short-term worries and marginalizing long-term threats.

The government has been fighting this pandemic as if in a conventional war – declaring states of emergency, governing by fiat, and attempting to contain and besiege the virus so that America can declare its enemy defeated. The reality of the situation, however, is that the virus has America under siege, containing us in our homes and preventing the motion of daily life from occurring. Any way you slice it, the "war" cannot and will not be won this way, even if the effort saves some lives and eases pressure on the healthcare system.  

In the long term, the shutdown of the economy is indicative of a much greater threat, one that may render the measures being taken now futile and unsustainable. The simple fact is that the Coronavirus, or any virus, doesn’t disappear. Viruses linger around until either the vast majority of the population develops immunity or is vaccinated against them. We know either solution is at least a year away; therefore, we must brace ourselves for a second outbreak and respond with more preparedness and effectiveness based on our experience in handling this outbreak.

One statistic that will soon be better understood is how deadly COVID-19 really is based on the number of cases and deaths that will be tallied in the outbreak’s aftermath. As the number of people tested increases, the number of known cases increases, which is why the United States, which has conducted the most tests, has the highest official count of positive cases in the world. However, even zealous testing efforts can’t provide a full dataset of positive COVID-19 cases.

Curiously, there seems to be a disproportionate amount of famous people that have tested positive for the virus. This is because those with money and/or influence are much more likely to get tested even if they’re asymptomatic, such as Rand Paul. There’s no reason to believe that Rand Paul’s example of a positive case is a rarity, especially among the younger population. As such, the actual case count is probably much higher than any model can truly predict.

Therefore, there IS a reason to believe that the actual rate of death is much lower than what is currently reported. If this is the case, the argument for another economic shutdown upon a second outbreak becomes less convincing. However, if such a response is to become the expected norm with future outbreaks at this level of severity, confidence in the market’s stability will not recover, meaning future economic initiative will be blunted.

Small business owners couldn’t have envisioned the ease and swiftness with which state and local governments could force them to close and, in some cases, go out of business. This is a sobering reality with which any aspiring entrepreneur must contend, and, by extension, the entirety of the American populous.

 

Robert Dimuro

Posted on April 5, 2020 15:00

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Source: CNN

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