"Public health crisis" is essentially a left-wing stock phrase at this point, as is reflected by the fact that the solutions proffered to the social ills in question are virtually always some sort of government regulation or income redistribution scheme.
The forces of anticapitalism have long latched on to whatever best suits them for pushing their agenda. Whatever the latest injustice may be—from a polluted environment to poverty to racism—the solution is always the end of capitalism.
How do the shutdowns increase ageism? Because millions have arguably been thrown out of work in the name of protecting the elderly. The resulting economic devastation comes at the expense of younger workers, parents, students, and families.
Part of what made the Great Depression last so long was increased uncertainty about what regulation or tax the government might impose next. Today's looming threat of ongoing "shutdowns" creates a very similar situation.
Allowing the market to operate with minimal government intervention has helped Chile become one of the freest and wealthiest countries in South America, especially when compared to its direct neighbors.
Economic history is possible only because there is an economic theory capable of throwing light upon economic actions. If there were no economic theory, reports concerning economic facts would be nothing more than a collection of unconnected data open to any arbitrary interpretation.