I am not even saying it wasn't the right move at the time given what they knew, but I am just saying they have to gather data and turn this around FAST. Leaders have to improvise in these situations. It's tough for me to assign blame as a "layman" because I don't know who knew what they knew and when. The "shutdown" probably had to happen from a public perception standpoint. On the surface, it definitely seems like we didn't ramp up fast enough, but the virus was already in the country in January apparently. I was getting worried at the end of January when I was about to travel to Europe. The government had to have way more information at that time. When we shut down the travel from China, the virus was already here and we were still allowing flights from Italy. When we shut down travel from Europe, some of my European friends were super offended by this like it was a slap in the face. I imagine all of these decisions were highly controversial, unprecedented, and potentially pointless which is why they took so long. I don't know what the medical health and economic projections were before they made these calls and I am not privy to top secret information, so who knows. I am sure the Italy situation was terrifying and still is. I have some friends over there that haven't been able to leave their houses in weeks.
If I had to guess, the real narrative behind the scenes that they aren't telling us is that they knew what was going to happen but had to buy some time to ramp up as much as possible (while trying to flatten the mass panic curve as well because it was too late even in Feb). However, I feel extremely bad for all these people that lost their jobs. I might be next honestly. The amount of job losses is unbelievable and devastating if we can't get them back. Before, I was at least able to take a shared risk with a local business and throw them a big tip to try to help. So now those people get to live(???), not support themselves, and be locked in their houses while the media tells them all day that there is no hope for clicks and ad revenue? Sounds awesome! So a bloated organization can tell a person that their livelihood is "non-essential" and completely wreck their business, lock them in their house while clumsily trying to print money and distribute it using last year's numbers. If we learn something from this exercise and can create a process to flex some pop up medical capabilities and supplies then I guess it is worth it. It's definitely one of those big paradigm shifting events, so I hope we can innovate like crazy.
Anyway, I don't expect anyone to see it my way. Do whatever you wanna do! Enjoy.