By: Lloyd Gardner
Covid-19 is the only disease for which an entire community is to some extent quarantined. In the past quarantines were put in place to separate the sick person from the public to limit the spread of the disease. With Covid-19 the strategy started by China and spreading to the rest of the world has been a government lockdown of an entire nation or state to “limit the spread”†of the disease. Medical experts are beginning to question the strategy of lockdowns when they consider the drastic medical, physical, social, mental, educational, economic and spiritual effects they have on the entire population.
On October 4 three distinguished experts— Dr. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, Dr. Sunetra Gupta at Oxford and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford delivered a declaration calling for taking a different approach to Covid-19 because the lockdowns appear to be causing “devastating effects” more dangerous than the disease itself.
Their opening statement of the declaration said “Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short-and longterm public health.”†Since the declaration was issued, over 2000 scientists and more than 2000 medical specialists have signed it as well as almost 40,000 members of the public.
Some of the results of lockdowns cannot yet be measured but the doctors name a few areas of concern: childhood vaccination rates, deteriorating heart disease, fewer cancer screenings and mental health issues. The declaration makes the point that “for children Covid-19 is less dangerous than many other diseases including the flu.”†People have been dying of critical illnesses that would have been treated in normal times. Cancer and other diagnoses were delayed for months because patients were not able to get normal screening procedures. These delays are having a devastating effect on the nation.
This is one of those events that cannot be fully measured until the damage is done but many doctors are concluding that in the future we will likely learn that much harm is now being done to students not attending classes and participating in sports, people losing jobs, businesses closing and art, music and recreational activities being avoided. Many people, including myself, have anecdotal examples of this claim.
Add to the yet unmeasurable results of lockdowns the devastating effects caused by extreme unemployment and economic recession affecting almost everyone in society. Some of these situations inevitably have caused increased alcohol and drug abuse, domestic abuse and suicides across the nation. It is becoming quite apparent that when applying lockdowns the cure is worse than the illness.
Robert Redfield, director of the Center for Disease Control has said publicly that “suicides and drug overdoses have surpassed the death rate for COVID-19 among high school students.” Measuring just suicides and drug abuse alone tells us that the social costs of the virus are higher than the disease itself. Dr. Mike deBoisblanc of John Muir Medical center said “I mean we’ve seen a year ’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the first statewide lockdown on March 19 which was intensified on July 13 when he shut down fitness centers, places of worship, offices for noncritical sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, and malls. On July 1 he had placed a ban on singing in church services. Across the nation in mostly Democrat run states these lockdowns have been implemented whenever there was a spike in the coronavirus. Several lawsuits have been filed against the governor as a result. One suit filed by two state representatives is in the court as we speak. Medical experts are referring to the many deaths resulting from the lockdowns as “mass casualty incidents.” They believe that time will prove that the lockdowns were a disturbing mistake.
Sweden may have proven that total lockdowns are not necessary. The infamous Neil Ferguson’s Imperial College model predicted 96,000 deaths for Sweden and the total deaths on October 1 were a low 6,000. Sweden never had a total lockdown but merely made minor adjustments and left the rest up to individual judgment. Eurostat/Statistics show that its economy shrunk much less than the rest of Europe. Europe contracted by 11.9 percent while Sweden was at 8.6. Other European countries were worse in economic loss such as Spain at 18.5. Lockdowns hurt the economies of the world but Sweden was able to avoid much of the drastic damage and perhaps the other devastations issuing from economic failure.
The most disappointing thought about the lockdowns is that they appear to have a political motive. Have we committed unjustifiable errors for the sake of politics? Time will tell.