The biggest risk of this virus appears to be that the health care system will be overloaded rapidly with persons in critical condition if the virus spreads widely and quickly.
Once that happens, people will get less than adequate care, medical personnel will be overworked and overexposed, and in worst scenarios which are happing in some zones in Italy, right now, people with a low chance of survival will be effectively turned away for immediate critical care if they need it.
I've encountered young people who think that there's little to worry about as the mortality rate for younger people who have no pre-existing conditions is far lower, who seem to not be so concerned about the risk to the elderly, especially as they themselves could catch it, get mildly ill, but give it to, for example, a 72-year-old aunt who's diabetic and takes heart medication, with whom they share a home. The aunt would be in serious trouble.
I have also encountered some people (amazingly) who seem to believe there's no point to trying to prevent the spread because it's gonna happen anyway. But the issue with this is too many people getting sick too quickly.
What everyone is gathering is that if you have a virus, and 3 percent of people will die from it, the question is, if the virus spread nationwide without control, does your healthcare system have enough capacity to offer critical care to 3 percent of your entire population at the same time? Would it have the capacity to offer the same care to whatever other percentage portion of the population that could recover if they get quality critical care simultaneously? What total percentage of your population can you expect to be in need of hospitalization in a worst case scenario?
Do you have beds for that? Do you have nursing staff and doctors for that?
And remember, these people who need hospitalization, may not simply need a bed and nurse, but may all require critical care, as in the attendance of multiple specialists to respond to their various medical complications.
And the answer to those questions would be "no" we don't have that capability.
So as much as is necessary must be done right now to prevent the spread of the disease - regardless of how unbearable or inconvenient that makes life for our population.
We already know that being elderly gives you a higher chance of serious illness. So too does being diabetic. Soo to does being hypertensive. So too do numerous other chronic and underlying conditions. But seeing as the Caribbean is one of the most diabetic and hypertensive regions in the world, that's a bigger worry for us than quite a few other places.
And other healthcare capacity is quite a bit less than quite a few other places.
I'm sure all of us know someone 65+ who is either diabetic, hypertensive or both. And then people with kidney issues, heart issues, recovering from cancer etc etc etc.
So I hope that we can, as a country, enforce the necessary measures, no matter how inconvenient, in order to safeguard our highly vulnerable population.