Unfortunately, we don't have to look far to find an example of moral panic occurring in the United States. The coronavirus situation has forced us to ask tough questions about how we move forward as a society. Many of the most important decisions being made right now are being based on moral philosophy. For example, hospitals are having to decide how they will allocate limited resources for treating patients. They're developing plans to assess which patients should be put on ventilators and which patients cannot be saved due to a lack of available equipment and personnel. This has already happened in places like Italy.
The coronavirus pandemic has also shut down the US economy almost completely. The past two weeks have had by far the largest number of unemployment claims in our country's history. Businesses are losing customers, and citizens are losing their jobs. This has forced the government to put out a multi-trillion-dollar stimulus package to help both people and businesses across the country. However, our economy is still suffering.
This has led President Trump to push for reopening the economy as soon as possible. Some media pundits have echoed the president's messaging. Their reasoning is that, essentially, opening the economy back up may cause more deaths, but avoiding the harm that's coming daily from shutting the economy down is worth the cost of those deaths. This is an argument that signifies the severity of the events we're living through.
If we aren't already in a moral panic, then the coronavirus absolutely could induce one. Whether it's economic decisions, hospital policies, or some unforeseen event, this pandemic and its after-effects have caused us all to make serious moral considerations that we've had the luxury of avoiding before now.