End COVID lockdowns — Monterey Herald, Oct. 17, 2020
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has come out against COVID lockdowns. What is a lockdown? Think of government forced business closures, mandatory shelter in place orders, blanket school closures, among other policies. Dr. David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on Covid-19, said recently: “We really do appeal to all world leaders: stop using lockdown as your primary control method.”
In California, there is wavering support for continuing the lockdown. But Dr. Nabarro reminds us that we’re part of a world economy that is rapidly fragmenting. By the end of 2021, he estimates that world poverty will double due to the global lockdown, and child malnutrition will more than double. He described the situation as a “world catastrophe.”
But aren’t lockdowns essential to make people do the right thing? Sweden offers a compelling counter-example. The government implemented only very mild restrictive policies, and the infection rate now is one of the lowest in Europe. Conversely, Peru locked down in a draconian fashion at the start of the outbreak (likened it “war”) and now has nearly the highest COVID mortality rate in the world.
End the stranglehold of the lockdown. We can start in California.
–Thomas Lee, Monterey