Tuesday

October 20th, 2020

Insight

Continue Lockdown or Get On With Life?

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published May 15, 2020

There is so much misinformation and contradiction circulating about the proper way of dealing with the Wuhan Virus pandemic, that it's no wonder that millions of people are scared to death. What makes this thing so horribly frightening is the confusion over 1) what it is, 2) what to do about it, and 3) when will normal living return. The three most important questions for all of us.

Usually when a major crisis occurs, whether it is a war or natural disaster or a disease, human beings will find ways of handling it once we understand it. The operative phrase being "once we understand it." In our present situation, nobody seems to have the complete understanding. Nobody has a100% answer for us, not Dr. Fauci, not Dr. Birx, no one. No matter what you might hear from various news sources and experts, there is no consensus of science on what we should do about this virus.

Anthony Fauci continues to warn of "serious" consequences if the U.S. reopens too soon. In testimony before the Senate Health Committee Tuesday on reopening the country and schools Fauci said, if "states or cities or regions" disregard the government's "checkpoints" (which are essentially Fauci's checkpoints) on when it's safe to pull back from mitigation measures, "there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you might not be able to control." Fauci added it would "in fact, paradoxically, will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery. . . . We would almost turn the clock back, rather than going forward."

It should be noted that Fauci was wrong in his early predictions of the severity of the disease and the "models" that he used were proven to be woefully off. There is also some evidence that Fauci may have a political and monetary stake in keeping the world in lockdown for the foreseeable future.


Many other highly respected doctors and infectious disease experts have a somewhat different opinion then Fauci regarding the virus and total lockdowns of society. Many doctors have pointed out that many more deaths will occur by keeping people locked up, scared to go to a doctor or hospital to get treatment for important conditions other than the coronavirus.

Many will suffer chronic depression, suicides, domestic violence, increased substance abuse and heart conditions brought on by anxiety.

One eminent scientist who takes an opposing view from Fauci on lockdowns is Professor Johan Giesecke, one of the world's most senior epidemiologists and advisor to the Swedish Government. Giesecke believes that lockdowns are the wrong way to go. He says the correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only, while keeping society at large open.

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Giesecke, says that lockdowns are merely delaying an inevitable surge in cases and deaths - not preventing it. He says attempts to stop the spread of the disease are 'futile' because everyone is likely to be exposed to it before a treatment can be found, meaning all countries will end up in a similar position regardless of what measures they took.

Dr. Giesecke says, "It has become clear that a hard lockdown does not protect old and frail people living in care homes --- a population the lockdown was designed to protect. Neither does it decrease mortality from COVID-19, which is evident when comparing the UK's experience with that of other European countries."

He says that everyone will be exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and most people will become infected. "There is very little we can do to prevent this spread: a lockdown might delay severe cases for a while, but once restrictions are eased, cases will reappear. I expect that when we count the number of deaths from COVID-19 in each country in 1 year from now, the figures will be similar, regardless of measures taken."

Giesecke goes on to say, "Measures to flatten the curve might have an effect, but a lockdown only pushes the severe cases into the future Ñit will not prevent them."

He admits countries have managed to slow down the spread so as not to overburden health-care systems, and, yes, he says effective drugs that save lives might soon be developed, "but the pandemic is swift, and those drugs have to be developed, tested, and marketed quickly. Much hope is put in vaccines, but they will take time, and with the unclear protective immunological response to infection, it is not certain that vaccines will be very effective."

He summarizes by saying that the most important thing is "not to attempt to stop the spread, which is all but futile, but to concentrate on giving the unfortunate victims optimal care."

In my humble, non-scientific opinion we should open up our society and get people back to work and school. Our government leaders, along with many disease experts have informed us as best they could in what we need to do to protect ourselves. We thank them very much for the information. Now they need to get out of our way.

Let people go about their business, while using the common sense and good health logic most of us have. Some of us might want to continue in self-imposed lockdown for a while. Fine, if it makes some people feel better about it, then they can stay home. Others of us should be allowed to go about our lives, in a smart way, but without the boot of authoritarian governance on our throats.

As we go along, if outbreaks occur we can isolate those who are infected and treat them. But to continue to keep our entire population of mostly healthy people in quarantine just doesn't make sense to me.

Human beings have had to live with diseases, viruses, and plagues forever. ItÕs part of life. Not all diseases have miracle vaccines. After 35 years there is still no vaccine for HIV AIDS. No vaccine for cancer, no vaccine for even the common cold. Coronavirus might just be one of those things that will be around for a long time and weÕll have to deal with it as best we can. Committing suicide over it is not a cure.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's been a JWR contributor since 1999.

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