According to the original rationale for the lockdowns — flattening the curve for hospital/ventilator capacity — we should be much further along in the process of re-opening.
Clay Travis, a sports dude, has one of the better write-ups on the WHOLE Covid-19 situation that I’ve seen here. He describes how the lockdown rationale has evolved:
Back in the flatten the curve days the primary argument for the national shutdown was that we didn’t have enough ventilators and hospital beds and many people would die as a result if we overloaded the hospitals with patients. Now that we aren’t in danger of overloading hospitals the argument has shifted from we have to avoid overloading hospitals to we can’t end the quarantine without a vaccine because if we do then infections will spike again resulting in a new need for national quarantine.
I’m not sure I agree about its about waiting for a vaccine. But, it does seem like there’s hope of finding a miracle cure or the virus will die out, without being too specific.
Arnold Kling has also been good on this throughout, and describes the “morphing” of the lockdowns here:
The original purpose of the lockdown was to “flatten the curve.” That meant that, relative to a no-lockdown baseline, we would trade a lower rate of illness now for a higher rate of illness later. The question about a lift-the-lockdown scenario becomes: how many people are out there who as a result will get the disease in May or June who could have been cured with adequate treatment and who cannot get adequate treatment in the near term but who could get adequate treatment in July or August.
It may be even worse than what these two gentlemen describe, as I’m not sure “closers,” as Kling dubs them, have any criteria for considering a case for opening beyond their favorite celebrity expert telling them it’s okay to have such thoughts.