I believe our ancestors approach science-guidance very differently. I believe this came from there being a culture that encouraged everyone to participate in the practice of science and collect of new evidence that undermines old science. This older culture is similar to the automated government of data and urgency. The automated approach emphasizes data representing recent observations from reliable sensors of objects that are not biased by rules based on preconceptions.
Our panicked government locked down non-essential opportunities that most benefit the younger populations. The same government already has decided on a similar trade for a future vaccination program that will primarily impact the younger population and may not even apply to the older population. We are frighteningly close to risking sterilizing our next generation to get this vaccine out. We may have already made that decision with the first imposition of the lock-downs.
Going back to 1986, the situation at the time was a declaration of urgency by the vaccination industry that threatened to discontinue their production (and research capabilities) unless there was some kind of immunity from lawsuits. The urgency was further justified by the science at that time that vaccines are especially effective as controlling epidemics when applied to large populations of healthy people. The only ruling available to government is a permanent one that basically says from date forward to infinity vaccines are an essential part of life on earth so that any risks involved must be accepted.
The science for how to deal with COVID19 is clear, and it clearly goes against all common sense. This may be a time when the best response to scientific recommendation is to dismiss it as ridiculous.
The current democratic government is run by politicians, bureaucrats, and electorate who all are gaslighted into distrusting their own observations that disprove the original explanations and projections. We need to ignore what we are seeing and continue on the original plan because it was based on infallible science, science we know is proven because we can replicate the experiments that prove it.
The absolute and accumulated numbers are only important for political gains for electing parties and politicians. A government by data and urgency has no such politician elections so these numbers are not meaningful as long as the survival rate is sustainable. From an operational perspective, what matters is maintaining sufficient capacity to handle the new cases.
The biggest failing of science in the current COVID situation is its inability to react to new evidence that its original conclusions were wrongly decided, and the assurances to governments were incompetent. We implicitly accept that any initial science-based decisions attains some law-like status that is automatically presumed to be true until there is overwhelming evidence that it is wrong. In particular, such decision making does not permit a simple apology for making a mistake following new data that clearly disproves the original science.
In the case of COVID19, we demand extraordinary evidence before accepting the normalcy of this pandemic. This sets a major precedence for all future novel diseases. From now on, we need to accept that anything new is an existential threat to humanity until evidence conclusively proves otherwise.
For COVID19 crisis, remembering the relevant past includes remembering the lessons of the 1918 pandemic. What exactly are we supposed to learn from this past? A lot of people lost their lives prematurely due to lack of government shutdown of local commerce. A decade of widespread enjoyment of good living occurred because the government did not interfere with the economy in its response to the pandemic.
The future-tense science is the risk-based decision making with the goal of a future that progresses from the past. The goal needs to be optimizing the benefits enjoyed in the future given the facts on the ground in the present. Memories of the past is not as important to this planning as is the current facts and the future opportunities.