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Coronavirus and the inability of people to wrap their heads around "gradual"

It seems modern people are particularly inept at understanding gradual phenomena. They can understand things that happen all of the sudden. For example, the death of a loved one, a car crash, or winning the lottery. They can't understand things that happen gradually. For example, the erosion of freedom, the accumulation of capital, or the adulteration of culture.

Let's analyze a single case of the latter: the coronavirus. Many were faked out by the initial spike in deaths, thinking that the world was going to end in a continuous exponential increase of deaths. When that spike dipped downward, even more people found it a convenient point of evidence to fit their hope that coronavirus was no big deal. It turns out that neither perspective was correct, and we've had a relatively stable average death rate of 1,000 per day since then.

The numbers, at this point, paint a surprisingly consistent picture: coronavirus reliably kills more than 3% of those who test positive for it in the United States. There are limits in our detection here: some percent of positive tests are false positives--meaning they don't really have it, and some positive cases go undetected. 

Assuming, for the sake of simplicity, that these two numbers cancel each other out, realizing that only about 1 in 35 Americans have caught coronavirus, and assuming everyone will catch it eventually, the initial susceptibility to the virus will be about 10,000,000 deaths. Some people's bodies will naturally ward it off before it causes symptoms. Let's liberally assume that 2/3 of infections recover without symptoms. We are still at around 3,000,000 eventual deaths.

These numbers were easily estimable many months ago, yet almost every American is daily hoping for some alternative outcome without any reason for doing so.

Things will likely change after the initial burn through. After the 3,000,000 or so die from total population saturation, a much smaller number of people will probably die each year, as the virus will have already killed most people who are lethally susceptible to it. After saturation, the death rate of coronavirus will become very much like the seasonal flu. 

The logical position--the only rational position--is to allow coronavirus to pass through the population as quickly as possible while minimizing collateral deaths and to immediately resume normal interactions. Instead, we are dragging things out to the tune of around 1,000 deaths per day, the consistent average after the first death spike. Do the math. The current approach requires over 8 years of social distancing and rolling lockdowns, and it will have the same exact outcome as letting it happen over 3 months.

If our foolish leaders had any courage and sense, we would already be back to life as usual, minus about 3 million people, causing the destruction of the US economy, the erosion of liberty, and many other negative outcomes. However, there is still a great deal of suffering that remains if they do not radically change their course. Seven more years of this will cause a degree of damage that is hard to imagine, particularly for children.

The 3 million people are going to die either way. The only rational choice is to allow the virus to get through society as fast as possible with minimal collateral damage. The most direct way to do this is to immediately remove all governmental restrictions and encourage people to resume life as usual. The most politically tenable way to do this is to encourage those who are at risk to manage their own isolation and encourage everyone else to resume life as usual.

I have no expectation that our foolish leaders will suddenly correct their errors, nor that modern people will suddenly be able to grasp gradual phenomena.