Since we currently have a President who wants to be the national cheerleader (his word) and focuses on ratings and praise rather than facts and plans, this BBC article pretty much explains why we are in the situation we are in rather than a still deadly but less so one. I do understand that there is no way this pandemic could have been avoided but it could have been mitigated. I'm mostly worried for what is ahead until a vaccine, massive testing and/or effective treatment is available.
Why we find it difficult to recognize a crisis
As a social scientist and former management consultant, I don't fall in the wishful thinking categories but rather in the let's be reasonably prepared and have a plan category.
We could have been like Taiwan or New Zealand! What do country's with the best coronavirus reponses have in common? Women leaders.
BTW, the book Pandemics and Society is very interesting reading so far. I'm still reading about the plague and not only are the facts about the massive outbreaks across centuries interesting but the types of responses of humans is too. If you read it just don't freak out that the bacteria is still present in rodents on every continent but Antarctica.