Risk, Uncertainty and Coronavirus

The government response to the coronavirus pandemic has seemed chaotic—underreaction one minute, piling on restrictions the next. It has left many wondering whether anyone is weighing the trade-offs. Do heavy-handed measures carry the benefits to justify the considerable costs? The uncomfortable answer: We don’t know. 

The novel coronavirus appears at first to be a problem of risk management. It is a dangerous disease that threatens the lives of our neighbors and loved ones. Our response—increased social distancing, shutting…

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