My coworkers and I were having a discussion on the impacts of shutting everything down. Since we work for a government health agency, they were focusing on the “flattening the curve” aspect. Me being me was introducing the overall economic picture.
I think I finally got some traction when I compared these measures to chemotherapy. We are introducing a small amount of economic poison into the nation in hopes of killing or at least shrinking the damage. However, we don’t know the dosage, and if we aren’t careful, we’ll end up killing the patient – in this case the economy.
What’s worse is that we don’t even have good diagnostics to determine if the poison is being effective. All we can do is guess and provide some small ameliorative for the side effects.
It ain’t a perfect metaphor, but I’ve found it’s a good way of thinking about things,