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The Lockean Project

Lockdowns irrelevant

Lockdowns irrelevant — Carmel Pine Cone – March 26, 2021

Monterey County has been allowed to loosen from the harsh Purple Tier to the milder Red Tier.  Thus, the editor of The Pine Cone says the recent, very slight uptick in cases is understandable “especially with businesses reopening and people socializing more.”

But the evidence suggests that the level of coronavirus has little to do with restrictions on socializing and business.  Look at last fall, for example.  For several months, most of California had been locked into the Purple Tier with a relatively low number of cases.  People were wearing masks and social distancing. Business was severely restricted. Yet cases suddenly skyrocketed in November.  If the lockdown had worked, wouldn’t cases have stayed steady or even fallen?

No, the problem was that seasonal ramping-up, which dominates every year in respiratory illness, overwhelmed everything else. The lockdown was useless. Then by mid-January after the winter solstice, cases plummeted. What happened?  Did the lockdown suddenly again become magic for some unknown reason?  The reason for the decline isn’t exactly clear, but it has continued for two months, aided gradually by increasing numbers of people who have been vaccinated.

Governor Newsom’s color-coded scheme is based on a lot of wishful thinking.  One might hope that a compassionate dictator could wave a colored wand and decrease suffering and death.  But that’s a fairy tale.  We’re dealing with an infectious outbreak that we’re still trying to figure out.  Let’s stop penalizing people based on a simplistic view of reality.

Tom Lee, Monterey