Even if the COVOID-19 virus turns out to be more severe than the skeptics give us reason to think it is, we can get through it. We cannot survive the end of the division of labor. It would be the finish of civilization as we know it.
How much licensing requirements are designed to “protect” the health of the public, and how much to restrict competition, may be gauged from the fact that giving medical advice free without a license is rarely a legal offense. Only the sale of medical advice requires a license.
Since outright grants of monopoly or quasi-monopoly would usually be considered baldly injurious to the public, governments have discovered a variety of methods of granting such privileges indirectly, as well as a variety of arguments to justify these measures.
We often hear that various government policies are justified because "the people want" this or "we want" that. This belief assumes that dissenting minorities don't matter at all. "We want" is usually nothing more than rank majoritarianism.
Business owners have always made errors, and external factors can lead to economic crises of various sorts. But the cyclical pattern of booms and busts we now see are a result of government interventions not seen in a free marketplace.