Like most Americans, I am economically harmed by the current restrictions in place to cope with the SARS-nCov-2 pandemic. However, the variety of outcomes in different countries around the world show that the outbreak conditions in the United States are, to a large extent, avoidable. And thus, it is quite apparent to me that the severity of the restrictions is a direct consequence of a subset of the population which refuses to participate in basic public health measures, such as wearing of masks, social distancing, avoiding indoor gatherings, etc.
Is there a legal basis for filing a lawsuit against such individuals, preferably as a defendant class-action suit? In particular, I think there is more than enough scientific data to demonstrate that anti-mask protesters et al are dramatically increasing the severity of the epidemic in way which can be demonstrated to most legal standards of proof. Therefore, I would like to collect damages from said individuals. I assume this would be some kind of tort claim, or perhaps criminal negligence, but am not aware of where to start, or whether this is feasible.
In the limit, I would very much appreciate for the US gov't to take this case upon itself, sue all relevant parties (i.e., people who have publicly refused to wear masks when mandated, attended large parties in contravention of emergency orders, etc.) and use recovered damages to pay for the bailouts currently making their way through Congress. I estimate that if 30% of the population falls within this class, then damages in the range of $30-40,000 each is sufficient to pay for the already-passed round of bailouts (CARES Act, etc.). Probably another $30,000 is sufficient to pay for the next round. As a taxpayer, I find it highly unjust that I am expected to help shoulder this burden when the deliberate actions of other citizens produces the majority of the epidemic growth. If the gov't is not willing to file such a suit, I am curious whether it is feasible to do so myself.