Everyone has had the flu and knows that while it’s unpleasant they got over it. (The people who died don’t have an opinion.) It’s hard if you don’t respect math to understand that the big difference is that if you have the flu (see the vox.com explainer at https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/3/18/21184992/coronavirus-covid-19-flu-comparison-chart) you’ll maybe infect one person. With CV19, you would infect over 2 people.
So, the math-naive mind thinks, twice as many people get infected. Big Deal! It’s all Political! No, because you don’t multiply by two, two is the EXPONENT. You square the number. It isn’t 10,000 (doing nothing), and it isn’t 20,000. It could be 100,000,000 (doing nothing). Taking steps such as social distancing and universal testing, you can make a big dent in that, but it’s still terrible. But in America, both of those are hampered. Social distancing, because Freedom™ and Devin Nunes telling people to go to a “pub” (really? a pub? is he English?).
Testing… I have a belief. This is my belief. Pharma companies could have come up with testing kits very fast and we could all be tested (or better, have been tested) right away. But PE firms and hedge funds and investment managers who control pharma companies expect massive returns. And until they can make a kit for $8 and sell it for at least $8000, they’re not going to permit the manufacture. Why should they take a loss? A “loss” being defined as accepting <1000x profit margin. Also, as we learned from the Story of Sen Burr (R-who cares), the heads of the government knew the seriousness early. When Democrats said it was bad, it was decried as a hoax, even as the Republicans were selling their stocks in hotels and buying up stocks in facemasks.
A crash serves those with large cash reserves. Remember in 2016, DJT said that the housing crash was a great opportunity? Well, this is a great opportunity too. What’s a “crisis” for you and me is just a “fire sale” for PE firms. So it’s actually in their interest to foment crises.
Wasn’t there a movie trope of the villain being an arms dealer who wants to stoke conflict so as to sell more weapons? It’s like that.
Evil is not different in kind from regular behavior. It can just be different in scale. Exponential instead of arithmetical.