Those who say that efforts to prevent the spread of the virus will cause
economic problems have a point.
Imagine that for six months or a year, all non-essential work is shut down. Only
essential services operate.
The people doing these services get paid.
Everybody else gets money from the government so they can buy essentials like
So the essential workers, getting their full wages, have money they can't spend,
because nothing non-essential is being produced.
Basically, the scene is being set for some very serious inflation, as there will
be too much money and too few goods.
However, the government can do things to correct for any economic problems. It
can't raise people from the dead. So using the economic problems as an argument
against taking precautions is getting priorities wrong.
Sure, it's _almost_ just like the flu, and we don't lock down the whole country
every flu season. But there are just two tiny differences:
1) We don't have a vaccine for it.
2) The chance of dying from it, if you get it, while still much smaller than the
chance of not dying from it, isn't really tiny - it's large enough to be a real
possibility, not a "winning the lottery" sort of improbability - which is where crossing the street or catching the flu is.
Those two things are enough reason to take very serious precautions against the
spread of this new virus. And then there's
3) The chance of dying from it is greater if everyone else is sick with it at
the same time, because the hospitals won't have enough ventilators.
Which is what is happening in Italy, and is the reason for "social distancing".