In the end, the robust estimates equate to more than one-third of the U.S. gross domestic product and easily top the current federal budget. Researchers argue the benefits of social distancing don’t end there, pointing out how such practices could prove beneficial in reducing the spread of other illnesses and diseases.
The final ‘graphs, however:
As for the level of guesswork that goes into their analyses, both Greenstone and Nigam argue that it’s only because there’s currently a lack of hard data to calculate. [boldface added]
“While it is tempting to undertake a full cost-benefit analysis of social distancing, this would require reliable estimates of its substantial costs,” they wrote. “We are unaware of comprehensive estimates of these costs, and their development is beyond the scope of our analysis, so the paper cannot go further than developing an estimate of the gross benefits of social distancing.”
What costs do to net, now that’s always the darn problem.