The current stay in place orders are to prevent it from spreading, i.e., so that we don’t have everyone be exposed, as you suggest will eventually happen. If we had done little to mitigate it, it is possible that we would have attained a penetrance of about 80% in a very short time period, weeks (not month) based no the viral R0. This would have meant (in the US) 272 million infected. We think about 10% would be asymptotic, 70% could recover at home and 30% would require aggressive medical attention. We could easily ascertain this based on the CDC statistics for the many comorbidities we have here along with the percentage of healthy that will have severe effects from the virus.Ikaika, as someone who seems to have a lot of expertise, I'd be interested in your comment. My take has been that everyone will eventually be exposed to the virus and "catch" it, but for some people, that may mean no symptoms at all. What we are trying to do is manage the rate at which this happens. We are not (or are no longer) trying to prevent it from spreading to everyone. It will. Am I right, or not?
In the US (I know the UK has their own issues), that would be close to 82 million requiring medical care. Under the best of conditions we would have fatalities around around 3%, that is around 8 million in a short turn around.
Thus if everyone eventually gets exposed, those number may not necessarily change, only that it would be over a longer period of time. So, we really want to avoid everyone eventually being exposed.
My point is that following mitigation, we can do spot containments to avoid mass exposure. We need to carry this out until we have a vaccine. Part of keeping the virus from taking advantage vectors willing to come in close contact with the non-infected also put isolation pressure on this RNA virus. This could force mutations. Unlike the movies, most mutations are more fatal to the virus than the host.
There are plenty of reasons to maintain the physical distancing and good hygiene. I know it sucks and some folks are hurting economically, but the alternative would have just as bad of an economic outcome while also awful medical outcomes.