Instead of killing a tiny 0.07% of the world’s population, what if COVID-19 killed between 1% and 5% of the world’s population?
And instead of an average fatality age of 80, what if COVID-19 hit peak mortality at an average age of 28?
That was the Spanish Flu of a hundred years ago.
So, did our great-grandparents shut down the planet for years on end? Nope. They had some restrictions, which lasted a few months. And some places tried masks, but those were just as useless as they are today. And their vaccines didn’t stop their pandemic, either.