I was speaking with a tax professional today, and we were talking about all of her clients. She was telling me tales of real people who had saved up to start businesses that are now gone. She was recounting those who made investments in their business that will probably not come to fruition before the money runs out.

We shut down the government out of fear that the coronavirus would ravage the country and kill… what? Thousands? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Who knows? It was all based on projections made before we knew hardly anything about it?

But what of the countless other diseases and causes of death that we know so much more about? And what about the problems we’re causing by shutting down?

There’s a great case to be made they’re much, much greater than anything the virus can bring.

Right now, we’re at 45,000 deaths in the United States. That’s compared to 21 million (and counting) lost jobs.

Our cure for the pandemic, isolation and fear, is shaping up to be far worse than the disease. We are already seeing some of the disastrous consequences, and we know from past events, like the Great Depression and some of our worse recessions, what happens to people:

  • Alcoholism
  • Drug use
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Loneliness
  • Domestic abuse
  • Suicide
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Irrational behavior
  • Mental atrophy

Consider all of the other maladies and serious illness that is going undetected because people aren’t having their normal, routine examinations. What about known ailments that people can’t cure because doctors won’t see patients.

We’re doing all of this to ourselves to stop a virus that we have not yet proven is any more deadly than heart disease, cancer, diabetes, accidents, stroke, respiratory diseases, or Alzheimers.

(If every news station kept a running total of all of the above on the screen 24/7, would we all be staying home to prevent those, too?)

Worse yet, when we all return to life after the lockdown, the virus will still be there, because the purpose of lockdown wasn’t to wait until it goes away, but to lighten the load on hospitals. Only this time, when we head into public, we’ll all be carrying the extra COVID-19 pounds, making us more prone to serious complications.

We are literally killing ourselves, our way of life, our economy, and potentially our future, for a disease that, while we don’t dare call it a flu, seems to be having a similar effect to some of our worse flu seasons.

If opening the economy saves just one life, it will have been worth it.