I’m writing in response to those who are arguing for prompt relaxation of COVID-19 mitigation measures to quickly revive the economy. While this desire is understandable, it is also misplaced.

A recent letter to the Rockford Register Star argued the panic over coronavirus was overblown and exaggerated the danger it represents. To support this claim, the writer states that coronavirus is expected to result in the same number of American deaths, about 60,000, as last year’s seasonal flu. What he neglects is the fact that 60,000 coronavirus deaths assume current mitigation measures remain in place. That number could skyrocket if we prematurely relax them.

Some have also surmised that restoring the robust economy is worth the sacrifice of 2-3% of Americans who would die as a result. With a population of 330 million, that means we would sacrifice 6-9 million or more lives for economic gain. That’s Holocaust levels of death.

Let’s make sure we understand the implications and fatal consequences of prematurely re-opening the economy.

— Steve Vaughan, Rockford