I mean...The same way we always do? It depends on whether the risks are reasonably forseeable. We know that if you go about your business as normal while infectious with the coronavirus, you might infect 4 people on average. If we take a lowish infection fatality rate and say that 0.1% of infected people die, then you have a something like a 0.4% chance of directly causing someone’s death.

How bad is a 0.4% chance? Should the law tolerate people putting others in danger, at about that level? If you could load up a 200-barrel revolver, would it be okay to put one bullet in, spin and fire?

Here’s one way to think about it: if you were to act such that you introduced a 0.4% chance of someone else dying every day for a year, there’s a 23% chance someone would eventually die. So I would say, no, this is not a level of danger we can accept people to impose on non-consenting strangers.

In practice the way that I think the law normally works is, if your actions show a disregard for the welfare of others and someone is in fact harmed, then you can be held culpable. So if you go outside, someone catches coronavirus and dies, then you can be held responsible. By my crude calculation, there’s about a ^{1}⁄_{200} chance of that happening. I don’t think most people would break quarantine if they knew there was a ^{1}⁄_{200} chance of someone dying and them going to prison. I think just explaining that the law was seeing it that way makes them take the risks seriously, while as it currently stands, lots of people think it sounds like bullshit.

Does COVID-19 have a long “incubation period” because we don’t have any immunity to it?

This is a “makes sense to me” idea I merely thought of, and I have 0 medical expertise. So this is probably dumb, but now that I’ve thought of it I keep wondering whether it’s true.

My thinking is that the early symptom onset we feel when we get a cold or flu is partly down to our immune system responding, which causes inflammation etc. With the novel coronavirus, the immune system isn’t responding early on, and the infection itself will be in the slow ramp stage of its exponential growth, so the infection is already well established by the time you start to feel it.