Just thinking about the situation we see today and the different measures that are being implemented across the board…
It seems to me that half measures might be the worst thing to do.
Either you implement total lock down for everyone and hope the virus will have expired in say two months or whatever. This will of course wreak havoc on the economy and might lead to a depression.
If you go try to go the way of reaching “herd immunity” and continue on as usual then a majority will have been affected before the strategy has paid off. This will of course cause mayhem, especially in countries with few intensive care units (like Sweden). No country has a health system that is prepared for an exponential rise in people with similar needs of critical assistance.
Sweden (and some other countries I hear) seem to be going with the “herd immunity” strategy in order to not shock the economy and bring down the housing bubble etc. Furthermore, it seems that they are hoping for a gradual spread of the virus to the majority of people in order to somewhat be able to cope with the amount of people that will need intensive care. This might be the least damaging path for the economy as a whole but it would also mean a prolonged state of fear and chaos. I mean, they can’t order people to continue on as usual and we are already seeing a lot of pain in most service industries. People don’t want to go to restaurants, hair dressers or cinemas and so on. The elderly will be in constant danger throughout this whole period since they have a far higher mortality rate.
I don’t see how anything less than a reliable and easily dispensable “cure” will save the world’s economies from total annihilation.
There is also the problem of countries taking asymmetric measures…
What if one country totally shuts down whilst the neighboring country aims for “herd immunity”?
Border crossings would pretty much have to be totally off until both strategies have taken care of the problem…
Lets say Norway chooses to go with a complete shut down and is able to “eradicate” the virus. This population would then not have any widespread immunity (if it is even achievable) and would be susceptible to the virus in the future. If the people of Norway then went back to business as usual, and opens the borders, then anyone coming from abroad carrying the virus could start it all over again.
The same goes for states in the US for example. If one state shuts down completely and successfully eradicates the virus, with only a fraction of people having been affected, while the neighboring state is much more relaxed…
When can people be allowed to travel between the two states again in that case?
In essence the virus would need to be eradicated in ever corner of the world before the world could get back to normal (Assuming the world does not want to go with the “herd immunity” path and see 60%+ of people getting the virus).
Which begs the question… Is it even doable?
Are we destined to see recurring outbreaks, for a prolonged period of time, until the world reaches “herd immunity”?
Is a dragged out form of reaching “herd immunity” the best bet?
Anyway you slice it I can’t see how the economies will recover until the virus is totally eradicated across the world or it has affected most of the world’s citizens already.
These are depressing thoughts and I hope the news flashes regarding promising “cures” are solid and we can avoid these scenarios.
I see two alternatives:
- The whole shuts down simultaneously and kill the spread (not likely)
- The whole world assumes no goon enough cure will be produced and shutting down is only delaying the inevitable path towards “Herd Immunity” (not likely either)
- Assuming a good cure is hear now or soon:
- Shut down everything in order to save lives until the cure is distributed
- If a cure is on the way then we are wasting lives by letting it spread towards the goal of “Herd Immunity”
If a cure is believed to be on the way then it would point to countries accepting loss of life in exchange for hopefully preventing a total collapse of economies.
Note: Speculative thoughts and I am not a virologist etc.