Without wanting to get political, one just needs to look at either the seven day moving average of new cases or the fatality counts, per capita, as a function of time. New Zealand and South Korea handled it well, keeping their curves low and keeping the rate way down. The EU had a big spike (mostly Italy and Spain), and then got it under control. The US also had a big spike, a bit after the EU, got the rate down again, and then loosened up and watched the rate surpass the previous spike, and keep rising (which is where we are now).
The US has already lost more Americans than the number of American soldiers killed in the Viet Nam war (~58,000) twice over, and the totals are still rising. The Viet Nam war lasted almost a decade, the losses from Coronavirus have taken place over about 4 months so far.
Any objective look at the evidence has to concede that we’re doing things very badly.
So, the take home lesson I’d like to espouse is that for all of us, however bad it’s been, we haven’t done enough, and we have to do more to get this under control. Virology is one of the fields where an ounce of prevention can be worth ten pounds or a hundred pounds of cure, and the US let it get out of control early on.
As a college professor, I can sympathize with the students who are losing out on a year or more of the genuine college experience. But I’m also fearful of a group of people, coming together from all over the country, some likely asymptomatic carriers, bringing the virus into a close knit community where social distancing is very difficult.
So, when you’re feeling the strain of distancing, the inconvenience of masking and hand washing, the inability to go to a restaurant, hang out in a bar, or get a haircut, don’t think of how annoying it is; instead be proud that you’re doing your part to fix this, and ask yourself what else you can do to make it better.
Good luck, and stay safe, everyone.