Now that the Covid-19 pandemic seems to be abating, its a good time to look at lessons that observers have, or should have, learned. The list of mistakes is long, but the most glaring was the failure to understand and act on the viruss propensity to attack the old and vulnerable. Policy makers failed, in other words, to understand the enemy.
Some clear thinking based on data that were available last spring would have led to two insights. First, the benefits of protecting the old and vulnerable exceed the costs. Second, the costs of protecting the young and healthy exceed the benefits.