COVID-19 cases are increasing, and our healthcare system is severely strained. The outlook at this point looks grim, with thousands of lives lost and many thousand more expected, and no signs of this pandemic slowing down. At the same time in less than two weeks, 3.3 million Americans have lost their jobs, and the stock markets have lost trillions. April is projected to be much worse, and we could see up to 5 million job losses, much higher than any other time in history, including the Great Depression. Studies have shown unemployment leads to a 63% increase in the risk of death, and the economic fallout could kill millions. We cannot continue like this for much longer before our economy collapses and the pandemic remains rampant. It is imperative that we find a balance to best manage the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19 in the immediate and the long term.
With the risks and benefits of our actions in mind for each individual American and our society as a whole, I’m proposing four measures that will both save lives and our economy, and strengthening us in the long run. The core of the proposal is: Quarantine the highest at-risk group –the elderly and the people with underlying health conditions-while letting the young and healthy people resume the economy at a measured pace.