BOTH are important: preventing the spread of COVID-19 illness and ECONOMICS
"Zeke" Emanuel (Ezekiel J. Emanuel) is vice provost of global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania. His column in the NY Times 3/23/2020, addresses both issues of our current crisis. He is advocating, based on his extensive background in medicine, medical ethics and health policy, a draconian (he calls it "decisive") action plan so that, by some estimates, 2.2 MILLION Americans might not die from COVID-19. Please read it. This is not just the flu. It is highly contagious, lingers on nonporous surfaces for (we don't know how many) days. Please take it seriously.
His stance is that we need to take extreme actions (as China did) in the next 7-14 days to curtail the effect on our country. That would limit the number of deaths to "under 100,000." His estimate is that the economy could then recover in 2-3 months.
OK - so all this doom and gloom leaves some of us, some of the time, cowering at home (cursing the 'cursor' for being so slow because everyone's online). Fortunately, advice from my marvelous aunt, Anita, whose friends celebrated her 100th birthday 2 years after her death, comes to mind. She had survived 2 world wars, lost 2 husbands and a son. I was young and sad about a recent break-up. She looked me square in the eye and said, "Grab for all the fun you can, because the bad times take care of themselves." So, please enjoy the treasures in your life, whether a new baby, a roof over your head, a steaming cup of tea or your own special joys.
At one birthday dinner, Anita was so distracted that her slightly forgetful gentleman friend, (we called him the professor) hadn't shown up, she forgot to turn on the oven to cook the crown roast of pork. Of course, pork has to be cooked thoroughly to kill potential parasites. So ... she started the dinner with dessert (and a very long improvised speech) and worked backwards. We all still remember that party 30 years later. And, yes, the professor showed up just a bit late.
Please take care of yourselves, your loved ones and community. This is a time to be creative, to improvise and to let our hearts, not our fears, govern us.