Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Narayana Kocherlakota

America Has Opted for a Bad Recession

The coronavirus dilemma isn’t about lives versus the economy.

No thanks.

No thanks.

Photographer: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

People keep saying that the coronavirus crisis has presented America with a difficult choice: the lives of our parents and grandparents versus the economic well-being of our children. I beg to differ. The real choice is, and has always been, between a sane national strategy for containing the pandemic and economic disaster.

I don’t like getting sick. If you have a bad cold, I’d rather not shake your hand. Similarly, I’ll do a lot to avoid getting Covid-19, even if I’m pretty sure it won’t kill me. As a 45-to-64-year-old, my odds of being hospitalized if infected look to be about 1 in 25. No thanks! I’ll pass on getting on a plane or going to a crowded restaurant.