There are good reasons why it is a terrible idea to reopen too soon or to revoke stay-at-home orders all at once. Not only will more people succumb to COVID-19, people suffering from unrelated issues will have higher death rates due to lack of resources. Higher death rates and a potential collapse of the medical system will lead to more economic and political instability so the difference between 70% contracting the disease over 18 months vs a 70% infection rate over 6 months is HUGE.
One is economically painful but recoverable, the other could trigger an economic depression. Deaths aren’t simply heartbreaking, they aren’t just a loss for the family and friends of an individual, they are a disruption to the economy of a community and the ripple effects are huge. Every person lost is no longer contributing labor and they’re no longer using goods or services. The money they spent on goods and services are no longer going to allow others to buy goods and services and so on and so on. The affects ripple outwards.
We have now lost more lives in the US than we did during the Vietnam War. It’s not as simple as being able to “sacrifice” expendable community members for the sake of the economy. A spike in deaths will also destabilize the economy. The wealthiest in the US only account for 6% of US tax dollars collected, and that’s according to the conservative Cato Institute. The wealthy don’t create jobs or stability, that comes from us working people.
So maybe if we stopped giving handouts to the rich and instead kept everyday people afloat through the crisis (the money will wind up in the pockets of the wealthy anyway, I promise you) we will come out okay on the other side.