We live in a very different world. I fully expect that no matter what competence level there was in charge this was going to end up getting us, but we have the most cases in the world and are behind everybody else in preparedness.
With at least of most of America finally starting to get it it's going to slow that curve but IMO it's going to be a sign wave, speeding up and slowing down, and over again. You can only relate to the Spanish 1918, but everybody forgets it was the 1918 to 1920 flu. We know more now but we put too much faith in science bailing us out, just like they'll be able to save the planet. Sometimes you need a good pandemic to thin the herd, as the earth cannot support the amount of people, culling the population 5% can only help it.
To your question, I'd wear a mask...
My mask question was hypothetical. I had no idea 5 days later it would be strongly advised by the government. 5 days ago feels like an eternity and yesterday all at the same time.
Regarding leadership, I agree. This got past many brilliant people all over the world. In order to be prepared, it seems we would need to know how to prepare and what we are preparing for. The only things I feel comfortable saying is no one wanted this and what this virus has done to the world in such a short amount of time is humbling.