So I stumbled upon this interview by David Katz. Essentially, the argument he makes is that we need to find out who is at risk for covid, allow life to go on as normal for people with low risk, and then gradually allow higher risk individuals back into the population as herd immunity increases. He also makes an argument for making sure people are healthy to begin with, which on its own would reduce the likelihood of bad outcomes from covid.
Interesting ideas I thought. The one caveat to that is that there are long-term complications arising in people who have had covid. Obviously it's terrible for the people who recovered, and I hope we can learn more about these complications and help people recover. My issue is the sensationalist aspect of the way it is covered, especially in the absence of emperical data about how many people experience these outcomes (however I would bet that age and poor health pre-covid play a big role). Somebody who had covid in the spring and still struggles with crippling fatigue is going to make the news. Someone who recovered and has no ongoing health problems will not. In this context, I find the Swedish experiment interesting. For months, people held it up as a failed example compared to its other neighbours. Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, and Finland have all experienced second waves to some extent. Sweden's curve has essentially followed the predictable pandemic curve that you would expect. That raises another uncomfortable possibility. Sweden, Italy, and New York all to varying degrees were hit hard with the first wave of the pandemic. New York and Italy have escaped their curves, and other than a few upticks here and there, their covid curves have remained flat. Will they survive the second wave, while other areas that avoided a first wave are hard hit? If so, that raises the uncomfortable possibility that the best way to deal with covid is to rip off the bandaid, allow it to work its way through the population (while doing what you can to protect vulnerable people) and then once it is over, things will be fine. It is true that people will die of covid, and that is tragic. It is also true that people will die of other things that don't make the news. I think back to what we were told at Easter that we should not have family gatherings for fear of spreading the virus. So many people will not be alive to see Easter 2021. Mainly eldery people, but even people in their 20s and young children also suddenly die of medical conditions they didn't know they had, and I think it's tragic that they would have had to spend their last Easter away from their families.
I know that issue is contentious, but I hope we can deal with the argument on the merits. I expect many to disagree with this approach, but I hope we can keep discussion to the facts without accusing anyone else of not caring about people who die from whatever cause.