The title is:
"A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data"
That is completely wrong. The experts in China, Korea and Japan now have highly reliable data. They have it for tens of thousands of patients, and hundreds of thousands of healthy people who were tested. The data covers many weeks of illness. That is a long time in this case, because this illness seldom lasts longer than 2 weeks. (It would not be useful if this lasted for months or years, as some diseases do.) People either recover or die more quickly than the timespan of this data. The data covers every age range and state of health. It covers people who got the best ICU care available, and people who could not be cared for because the hospitals in China were initially swamped. So this data is statistically significant in every dimension, for every purpose.
Let me rewrite that headline to reflect reality: "We in the United State are making decisions without reliable data because we are ignoring the Chinese, Korean and Japanese data, along with their recommendations. What is worse, we using the garbage data from the U.S. healthcare system, which is worse than the Iranian data, according to the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. He said, 'This is an unmitigated disaster that the administration has brought upon the population.'"
You were around for the 2009/2010 Swine Flu pandemic. In the early days of it, were you as alarmed of it's potential mortality, espousing the same "shut everything down" approach as you are now? I am curious, because I have read up on that pandemic.
In the pre-Pandemic stages of the swine flu, it was equally as scary. Possibly more so, as the virus targeted the young, while now it is the old and infirm. In the end, 60 million US citizens contracted the disease, with ~13,000 fatalities. Even knowing that *after the fact*, those are scary numbers. But amazingly, the national response was cavalier in contrast to the COVID19.
There was no talk of shutting down commerce, and no government edicts imposed to enforce social distancing. There were words of assurance that, if this gets out of hand, they were at the ready to take action, but none were taken. Sure, some schools opted on their own to close, but hardly anything of note.
Hard to believe, but the medias response was ho-hum. CNN/NYT's reported on W.H.O. declaring an epidemic, and after 10 days there was very little mention of it.
As a result, there was no panic, no run on toilet papers, stock markets hardly reacted, people went about there daily business. None of this pants on fire, knee jerk reaction, that today puts us on the verge of a global recession.