This is the weekly US COVID deaths as reported by the CDC. Even with the shift from "dying from COVID" to "dying with COVID" to "dying in the same Zip code as COVID" (like the Florida buy killed in a motorcycle accident whose fatality is included in the graph here), we see that deaths are way, way down and dropping further. The data are clear on this.
This is the second most important thing to know about the Coronavirus:
This is the US All Cause Deaths. You can see the annual spikes during the winter Flu season. This year is definitely not "just a bad flu season" - deaths are significantly up from two years ago (which was a bad flu season). The dashed line is all cause deaths minus Coronavirus deaths but again you see the deaths dropping. The last three dots are most recent reports which are incomplete and which will be adjusted upwards in the future as it can take 8 weeks for all deaths to be reported.
Data are from here, which is worth a read in full.
And this is where I was wrong and Aesop was right - this was not just a bad flu. The data are crystal clear on that.
However, the data did not justify shutting down the economy. The data did not justify preventing you from saying goodbye to Grandma on her deathbed. The data did not justify prohibiting public gatherings at funerals. The data did not justify shutting down Sunday church. The data did not justify shutting down the schools. The data don't justify mandatory mask wearing. The data don't justify the hype.
The data do justify intelligent measures to protect vulnerable populations. The data do justify additional health care resources to make sure the hospitals - and their employees - do not get overloaded. There are probably a couple others that could go here, but I'd be pretty surprised if it's more than a couple others.
But we are not governed by Philosopher Kings, which means that we get the worst of both worlds - we get forced infection of vulnerable populations, we have great stress in the health care system, and we have Autocratic tyranny that would have had the Russian Tsars scribbling notes.
In a younger and more vigorous age of this Republic, the politicians who imposed all this useless misery on the population would have been horsewhipped through the public square. The data don't say that, but we can figure that out all on our own.