The price of pandemic moral certitude has been shouldered by those least equipped to pay it.
It is so much worse than you think. Taiwan closed its borders Jan 1, 2000. Then Wuhan had become a center of interest. I knew that at least as of 2002 Wuhan was the center of China's biowarfare research. Pangolin, my ass.
I built a crude model using only prior Coronavirus epidemics ( SARS, MERS, etc) looking only at the shape of the data. It allowed me to do some prediction, which flew in the face of what was accepted as "Truth." I calculated a 0.35% infection fatality rate, likely to be reduced as the herd was culled. A scam was likely afoot.
We knew what to do in a respiratory pandemic, and had known for more than 100 years. Outdoors is better than indoors, because the slightest breeze can dispel a particulate cloud, while indoors it can linger for hours. Sunlight damages all viruses. The most vulnerable will invariably be the old and the fat, so focus protection resources on them and leave everyone else alone pending more information.
So, we did the opposite. We ordered everybody to stay indoors, and treated everyone as though they had the same risk profiles. We shut down the global economy to deal with a really bad cold.
We stopped looking at the important information and looked only at the unimportant. We focused on number of new cases, which is really nothing more than a thread on which to pull to gain perspective on the important stuff. Cases and even deaths aren't important. ICU admissions are important. Ventilator use is important. That's it.
There is no "medical establishment." There are medical bureaucrats (WHO, Fauci) and there are both scientists and practitioners. Scientists are apolitical. Their goal is to post a hypothesis and then disprove or prove it. Practitioners are interested in making people better, and talk to one another about what they see and what they know. This is admittedly anecdotal data. All data are anecdotal until collated and analyzed.
Medical bureaucrats dismiss practitioners as carriers of tales who spread rumors. Many medical bureaucrats are motivated by establishing and maintaining their reputations and basking in adulation of others.
I prefer to start with scientists, then practitioners. If I have to, I'll go to bureaucrats. But I always keep in mind the motivations.
Frankly, the number of global deaths just isn't remarkable for a pandemic. It was the perfect way to get rid of Trump, who had been assured of re-election.