Ayslyn you misunderstand. The medical people will often overstate something to the law makers in order to get their attention. Remember how long it took to an acknowledgement that smoking is harmful - decades of obfuscation. Then we had HIV the medical profession was very polite and up front early on that it was a disease that could affect anybody - but even today certain assumption about HIV persists. The other people they need to get the attention tion of is the media - and they are the worst. Note the whole vaccine autism link was a misrepresentation of the study cited - that researchers work was taken out of context and misquoted and people still believe the myth rather than what was actually said (the researcher lost his research license because of the media misrepresenting him, he was given it back a few years later because he was able to prove that he didn't actually say what it was claimed he said in the context of how he said it) .
Govt lying about numbers isn't anything new either - what the medial/science people are caught up in, unfortunately, is the process of politics. Politicians run the country, for better or worse, and it's a dirty game.
Plus the internet has to be contended with- twitter is the most toxic place I know and bad ideas come from it all the time. I won't argue some ones right to put themselves at risk but I will argue their right, by their behaviour, to put me at risk - given that most of the precautions are about stopping it spreading. If mask protected the wearer that'd be fine but they don't they protect others from the wearer and its not unreasonable to say eg you come into my shop you wear a mask (what you do outside of my shop is your business).
Thats a generic 'you' like the royal 'we' - i don't mean you personally
Edit: The UK experience was that we knew there was a pandemic coming weeks before the Govt acted. WHO had made a statement and then we saw Italy catch fire (metaphorically speaking). At work we were discussing what to do and anticipated the coming crisis. SAGE had several times and the PM didn't attend. The PM then gave very bad advice as he tried to down play what was happening: thing is everyone at ground zero knew the comforting platitudes from our PM were just creating a nightmare scenario. Exaggeration may be a poor weapon but we had a situation where we knew we'd need 2000 ICU beds and it was being made out that we had several 1000 already: we had about 750 ventilated ICU beds at the time (note not all ICU beds counted in the UK are ventilated). We had a model of what was going to happen by watching Italy and Spain. From where we were it felt like Nero was fiddling while Rome burnt. This isn't the first pandemic in last 2 decades but it is is the first that went wrong: the papers barely registered the others because the system worked like it was supposed to (plus we had vaccines)
Personally I was very very lucky that our business coordinator was a former medical professional who had moved over the business administration. She saw the same figures and what was happening and we went into shielded lock down 2 weeks before the nation did (that included staff having to self isolate when at home etc). Our loses were minimal but still significant - best record in the area but we still lost a number of battles. It could have been far worse when we look at the other providers in the same area.
It was that bad here at one point there was very real possibility I was going to be seconded from my normal work to ITU in the nearby hospital: simply because I had done my cardio thoracic care cert years ago (thats basically running a ventilator). Not a prospect I relished given I hadn't worked in that field for a very very very long time (refresher course then go do your thing). As it was final year students were inducted to operate as of they were qualified to get over the hump).
What I'm trying to say is that though it looks like exaggeration by certain bodies, at the coal face it was (still is) a real crisis.
Wondering how this thread got so spectacularly derailed.