How Long Can the Lockdown Last?

People are starting to get restless

I noticed a lot more cars in the parking lot at the local Hardware Store. I also encountered a lot more traffic on my way to Staples than I have encountered for the past three weeks.

These are signs that Americans are becoming restless and are starting to question the necessity and economically-devastating duration of the lockdown.

Some states are starting to lift the lockdown restrictions, in whole or in part, as the number of new Covid-19 cases has slowed or flattened. As president Trump previously noted, it makes eminent sense for each state to determine whether conditions warrant a lessening of the lockdown

Some on the left are criticizing the decisions, mostly because governors in those states that are in the process of terminating the lockdown are all Republican. What a surprise.

Progressive commentators and pundits are mocking the decision to end the lockdown by some of the Southern state governors as a reflection of their limited intelligence. Those who are against removing the lockdown, have been characterizing the consequences in the most apocalyptic terms. In addition, progressives have drawn an arrow from their spent quiver and accused those governors

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as “science” deniers, for their audacity in question ain’t the view of the “experts.”

Someone ought to remind progressive authoritarians, that the “experts” at CDC told us that wearing masks was unnecessary. After reviewing data from other countries or cities, such as Hong Kong, the “experts” suddenly reversed course and now proclaimed that masks are mandatory. The WHO “experts,” assured us repeatedly in January, that the Covid-19 virus could not be transmitted through humans. That prediction looks mighty silly now.

This line of attack is tiresome and is nothing more than a regurgitation of the global warming hysteria crowd claiming incessantly, that those who don’t subscribe to the consensus view on global warming are “climate deniers” because the “science is settled.”

Sean Trende writing in Real Clear Politics, argues that the American people will not abide a prolonged lockdown period, as it is anathema to basic principles of liberty. Trende contends that in terms of whether the lockdown should be lifted, the public health experts are not asking the right questions, because we have no control over when the virus will peter out. Trende also observes, correctly in my view, that the debate will revolve around the different categories of those unemployed  in terms of physical labor and those fortunate enough to be able to work at home, 

“How long the public will support these measures is anyone’s guess, but I doubt the public’s patience is infinite. This debate will heat up as our economy sorts into three tiers: knowledge economy workers unaffected by the collapse who demand continued distancing; essential workers who have to work (often in jobs where it is impossible to distance); and a growing segment of unemployed. Simmering in the background is the issue of churches; secular observers often have a hard time appreciating the mindset of religious believers, but I’m confident that while the devout are willing to take a few weeks off of services, they won’t wait several months to resume them.”

One physician, Scott W. Atlas, writing in The Hill, makes a compelling argument that the economic carnage caused by the coronavirus lockdown can’t be justified in light of the actual number of confirmed cases. He also points out that, the original goal to stem the spreading of the coronavirus was to insure that the country’ health facilities wouldn’t be overrun. That goal has been accomplished. Public health authorities keep moving the goalposts and sooner or later, people are going to conduct their own risk assessment and conduct their lives in a pre-coronavirus manner.

As Atlas notes,

“Of all fatal cases in New York state, two-thirds were in patients over 70 years of age; more than 95 percent were over 50 years of age; and about 90 percent of all fatal cases had an underlying illness. Of 6,570 confirmed COVID–19 deaths fully investigated for underlying conditions to date, 6,520, or 99.2 percent, had an underlying illness. If you do not already have an underlying chronic condition, your chances of dying are small, regardless of age. And young adults and children in normal health have almost no risk of any serious illness from COVID–19.”

Atlas’s article is must-reading for an understanding of why the severe consequences of the national quarantine can no longer be justified.

More people are starting to realize the proposed risk/reward paradigm of the experts, some of whom argue the country needs to be locked down for 12 to 18 months, is inconsistent with the facts and given the low fatality rates, certainly not worth destroying the economy.

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