“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus."
Those words were spoken by Dr. David Nabarro, an official of the World Health Organization. He, along with his peers, are now calling for world leaders to not insist people go in lockdown.
“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it," he added.
When the coronavirus first hit the United States in early 2020, state and national governments urged citizens to stay inside and socially distance themselves as much as possible. In addition to the closures of schools and places of worship, the lockdown caused restaurants, retail stores, and other companies to ultimately lose business, resulting in many permanent shutdowns across the country. Only in the last few months have they opened back up and allowed customers to return. Even so, the virus is still with us, and cases continue to spread throughout the country.
According to Nabarro, industries such as tourism and fast-food may not survive if lockdowns are implemented again in the future.
He references the tourism industry specifically, saying, "Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry in the Caribbean, for example, or in the Pacific because people aren’t taking their holidays .... Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. ... Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”
Chilling words, indeed.
Apparently Nabarro and the WHO aren't the only ones condemning the use of a lockdown to control the virus's spread. Thousands of medical experts added their signatures to a petition called the Great Barrington Declaration, which details both the physical and mental health of people experiencing the hardships of the pandemic. At the last available count, more than 9,600 medical and public health scientists and 25,520 medical practioners have signed the document.
"Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people, the Great Barrington Declaration states. "Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health—leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.
Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed."
Instead of lockdowns, these medical experts recommend an approach called "Focused Protection" that will help these individuals.
"The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection."
They claim that "current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health."
What are your thoughts on the situation? Do you think lockdowns have devastating lasting effects that are worse than the virus? Let us know in the comments!