I’ve had about five of you write me about this point in the last day. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide die from falls each year, what about car accidents, cancer, heart attacks, etc.? Why is this new risk so special?
I think you need to keep clear monthly vs. yearly rates of death. Covid-19 very likely has killed over 100,000 Americans over the last two months or so.
It either will continue at that pace or it won’t. Let’s say that pace continues (unlikely in my view, but this is simply a scenario, at least until the second wave). That is an ongoing risk higher than other causes of death, unless you are young. You don’t have to be 77 for it to be your major risk worry.
Alternatively, let’s say the pace of those deaths will fall soon, and furthermore let’s say it will fall by a lot. The near future will be a lot safer! Which is all the more reason to play it very safe right now, because your per week risk currently is fairly high (in many not all parts of America). Stay at home and wear a mask when you do go out. If need be, make up for that behavior in the near future by indulging in excess.
A few of you also have asked me how all this Covid history has changed my view of the world. If nothing else, I am realizing that people are worse at intertemporal substitution than I had thought.