Today’s announcement about the 15 days to slow the spread is important. Note that this is NOT about stopping the spread. That ship sailed at the end of December 2019 or early January 2020 once it escaped (or was allowed to escape) from China.
Everyone (or some large percentage of a population) is going to get this at some point until there is herd immunity (60-70% of the population as a start) or a vaccine. The goal is to stop a short-term spike, not stop people from getting it.
Of course the same people from the WHO back in January who were saying it wasn’t being transmitted person-to-person are now advising the US government. The same people from NIH/CDC who were saying back in February that it didn’t pose a significant risk to the US population are advising them too. Ditto the same people saying masks don’t help, UNLESS you are a first responder.
If the closures were required in March [edit: and now April], what exactly will have changed by May, June or even September – no vaccine, no herd immunity, no double blind studies showing the efficacy of a treatment etc. Perhaps widespread fast and accurate testing will allow people out, but so far the testing accuracy has been lacking.
Continuing it longer than 15 or 30 days will make no difference long term unless it continues for 12-24 months without testing and then quarantining people who test positive . Shutting everything down for 1 or 2 years is tantamount to suicide for the country and the world.
Some huge portion of the world population will get it eventually unless there is a vaccine. It is just a question of when.