Emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic pose several decision-making issues, while clear evidence of successful strategies are still unavailable, different policies may be identified . However, in such emergencies, the preservation of public health, by firstly reducing human loss of life may be prioritized and then restrictive measures are implemented . The trade-off between damage due to the threat and the decrease in damage due to the lockdown is largely unexplored . Here we show that there is a degree of compensation between damage from epidemic deaths and from traffic deaths, especially in the case of immediate restrictive measures imposed by governments . Based on the Italian case, we found that damage from loss of human Capital and health care costs could have been fully compensated if the lockdown had been imposed ten days earlier . Considering only one Italian region (Puglia), where the epidemic was delayed and then restrictions were timely, damage due to loss of human Capital was largely compensated in the real scenario . However, damage due to loss of welfare could not have been fully compensated for, since Covid-19 deaths largely outnumber traffic deaths in the simulated epidemic period and loss of welfare damage is scarcely dependent on the age-at-death . From a broader perspective, societies seem to react to external threats as a whole organism, thus tending to restore the original equilibrium . Governmental decisions could accelerate this process . However, in the case of similar threats, some wounds cannot be compensated for, such as the incalculable damage due to loss of welfare.