I keep hearing about this from all angles. Some folks are in full on panic, others are in full on slumber mode. Like most things the reality is somewhere in the middle.
We won’t see death tolls in the millions, but considering that there aren’t a lot of ICU beds in hospitals it won’t actually take much to fill them up. That is bad not only for victims of COVID-19 but also regular ICU patients. This is what is happening in Italy right now.
I think as long as people take reasonable precautions (as laid out by the CDC), and in places where there is confirmed (or even suspected) outbreaks kick that up a notch (stay home from school or work for a week) we should be OK. We will probably see smaller flareups like in New Rochelle, NY today or Seattle last week, but the key is to keep the flareup small. At risk people should already be taking more extreme precautions.