The debate about re-starting the economy, the extension of cases by flattening the curve vs. getting it over with faster and just assuming more people will die, etc. has one glaring omission: it assumes there is a good solution. Unfortunately, sometimes in life there is no good solution, only less bad ones. In this case, any solution is basically a choice among various worst-case scenarios.

What complicates matters further is the extraordinary amount of uncertainty. We can't say "Well, we should choose this option - it will produce the following results, which we judge as being not as bad as the other options," simply because we have no concrete idea what the actual results will be from any of the options.

If society is to remain cohesive, significant sacrifices will have to be made at all levels. And I don't mean sacrifices like Apple letting people use Logic Pro X free for 90 days. In a recession (and I've lived through several of them), the economy never actually stops, but it slows way down. There are people still making money and spending money. Will the motives and results of those activities need to shift? I'm NOT framing this as a political issue ("socialism is the answer") or a religious one ("we are our brother's keeper"). I'm framing it as what it means to be a human being. Is it survival of the fittest, or is it a willingness to do whatever is necessary to maintain the fabric of society?

Or...maybe they're not mutually exclusive. Real-world example: My career got started because of a severe (albeit not catastrophic) recession. I had worked with a company that made effects, but that market was dissipating. To pay the bills I wrote "Electronic Projects for Musicians" at a time when people didn't have the money to buy effects, so they were open to making their own. Fast forward 40 years...many people in this industry reference that book as being what helped start their companies. Overall, my lack of personal wealth led eventually to the creation of significant wealth in society at large. Of course, I was just trying to pay my bills, I didn't have lofty ideas that was I was doing would eventually change the industry in some way. But it goes to show that "unintended consequences" can be beneficial, not just problematic.

What can we do now that ensures when this is all over, we're in a better, not worse, place?