Cowen is right that governments have reacted by scaring people. That’s one reason the Great Barrington Declaration is important. It seeks to tell people not to be so afraid unless they’re particularly vulnerable. Notice the statement in the Declaration that “Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home.” The authors are not saying that they should be forced to; they’re saying they should. As I understand the Declaration, they’re trying to talk to young people as well as others and say, in effect, “Come in, the water’s fine.” Does Cowen object? If so, he doesn’t make clear and he doesn’t say why.
Leaders in most of the world put too much faith in lockdowns, and in experts who derided alternatives such as Sweden’s experiment with a more calibrated response that kept most of the economy and schools open.
Megan McArdle wisely warns those on the political left that their heavy-handed and hypocritical use of their outsized influence in the mainstream media (old-school and social) might well backfire .