But what is the real issue? I will say it because few reporters and NO politicians will say it.
The issue is the death rate. How many people should die from COVID?
When generals plan a battle or campaign, they look at the value of objectives versus casualties. Is it worth it to conduct the D Day invasion if we lose 10,000 men in the first day? The answer was yes. If the expected casualties were 100,000, the answer would likely be no, and the plan revised.
It is the same with COVID. We know that if we stop most economic activity, casualties will be low, but the long term standard of living will suffer badly, so we cannot lockdown forever. We also know that having no restrictions on activity, "normal activity", will likely result in the loss of 1 to 4% of the world's population, as almost everyone will get COVID and 2 to 8% of people will die.
So the questions are:
- What is an acceptable death rate? Is it OK if 200,000 Americans die over the next 2 years, primarily 60+ and infirm? If not, what level of death is acceptable?
- Once you determine the death rate, you can ask expert professionals (health, business, law) to craft a plan that maximizes economic output while staying under this death rate.
Alternately, you can do what the USA is doing now, fumble along, do different things in different places, get people to fight, and then see what happens. If this is written up as a disaster by historians (e.g Vietnam war), then you got it wrong. If this is written up as a triumph in spite of the losses (WW2), then you got it right. But I like the generals' approach to battles better than the current mess.
P.S. I once stayed at a Holiday Inn