Is the lockdown just delaying the inevitable?

Brian Giesbrecht
Frontier Centre for Public Policy

We are in lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Schools are emptied and businesses deemed non-essential closed. We must know that we are saddling the next generation with crushing debt and enormous social costs. The rationale is by social distancing measures and closures, we will “flatten the curve” and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.
We are living with incredible restrictions and questions should be asked. There is no evidence that the draconian measures, closing schools and businesses, were necessary.

Sweden supports social distancing but hasn’t closed primary schools and most businesses. While the World Health Organization (WHO) wants Sweden to enter lockdown along with the rest of Europe, Sweden follows its own course. It is probable that the Swedes will be immune from the next wave of the disease – achieving “herd immunity” – while citizens of locked down countries remain susceptible. Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan are some of the other countries that didn’t close their primary schools or businesses.

What is our game plan? Why not do what Taiwan or Sweden have done? The curve has been or is being “flattened”.

Do our politicians have a plan to make the virus disappear? If so, tell us!
We should get our economy moving again. The first step should be reopening the schools and selected businesses. Yes, some school children will get sick and infect their parents and others.

Did closing schools ever make sense, or has it prolonged the life of the virus in our community? The overwhelming percentage of healthy people who get infected will recover. Nature has designed healthy bodies to cope with respiratory illnesses.

Those elderly with compromised health bear the primary risk. This pandemic has revealed starkly how ill-prepared many of our nursing and care home systems were to protect the most vulnerable from infectious disease. Clearly, changes must be made. But, surely the protection of the elderly and the at-risk population should not be allowed to compromise our children’s future.

As a grandfather, I am thankful that this virus goes after us and not the young. I am doing social distancing and hand washing. If I do get sick I will be comforted by knowing that the vast majority of healthy people will recover. Could it be that we are giving in to irrational fears?

Don’t we need to rebuild a strong economy to prepare for the awful possibility that another and worse pandemic is in our future? An economy in shreds would leave us hopelessly unprepared and our young struggling.
Recent California antibody tests indicate that the mortality rate for COVID-19 might be more like two in a thousand rather than two in a hundred. So, if the plan is to wait for a vaccine, really, is it reasonable to accept living in lockdown for a year? Surely even seniors in compromised health prefer to spend the last stage of their life with their families, not in isolation. Again, is it reasonable to put our lives in suspended animation?

Or, is it time to ditch our “hunker in the bunker” mentality and drop our draconian freedom-crushing strategy and get on with life?

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