In the Spring of 2020, we were told that we needed to “lockdown” for a couple of weeks to “flatten the curve” and ensure we were able to handle an anticipated surge of COVID-19 cases in intensive care units around the country. We did so. We also pulled giant hospital ships out of mothballs, sent them to New York and Los Angeles and built a huge field hospital in Central Park. The President used his executive authority to order wartime scale production of ventilators.
The wave of cases never materialized. The hospital ships sailed back to their homeports. The field hospital was taken apart. The lion’s share of the ventilators sat unused.
But, by then, the die was cast. Democratic politicians, particularly governors, had discovered that lockdowns gave them the authority to shutter the economy and to wage war on Donald Trump’s ace in the hole — a booming economy.
Elitists whose fantasy has always been to transform the United States into a nanny state in which Big Brother is empowered to run the lives of the unenlightened realized their prayers had been answered. Under the guise of saving the nation from “the plague” the government could now justify interfering in literally every aspect of life.
Seven months on a terrifyingly large portion of the American public continues to obey the dictates of petty tyrants in governors’ mansions around the country. In New York and New Jersey one-third of all small businesses have folded, and still there is no widespread revolt. A media which serves as the propaganda arm of so-called progressive forces has so convinced the public of the extreme danger posed by COVID-19 that Americans in large numbers seem willing to simply surrender their most fundamental freedoms.
But, what if the lockdown is not saving lives? What if the lockdown is more deadly than the disease?
In Japan, more people are dying of suicide than from COVID-19. National statistics show suicides surged to 2,153 in October alone, marking the fourth straight month of increase. More than 17,000 people have taken their own lives this year in Japan. Suicide rates among men are up 20%. Suicide rates among females, often the ones dealing with the brunt of the issues caused by the lockdown have risen by 80%.
The same trend is being seen here at home. Experts warned from the outset of the lockdown that the stay-at-home measures and disruptions to daily life would likely lead to increases in suicides, drug overdoses and domestic violence. All those warnings appear to be coming true.
“There is a mental health wave to this pandemic,” Dr. Ken Duckworth, chief medical officer of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, told ABC News. “We as a species don’t do well with uncertainty.”
The opioid epidemic has also worsened since the virus outbreak. More than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related deaths since the pandemic struck, according to the American Medical Association. Overdoses have increased 20% over 2019.
Reports of domestic violence are also on the increase. In New York City calls to the domestic violence hotline are up 76% over a year ago. The United Nations has issued a warning that lockdown measures will likely undermine its efforts to reduce domestic abuse worldwide.
Concerns about these kinds of impacts and the broader effect on the physical well-being of individuals kept under extended lockdown have prompted a growing number of physicians and scientists to call for an end to the measures. Literally tens of thousands of physicians and hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens have signed onto a document called the Great Barrington Declaration demanding an end to lockdowns.
“As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists, we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies,” the declaration states. “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.”
The website on which the Declaration is posted adds, “There are many physical harms from lockdowns. Medical care visits have plummeted, with people avoiding needed medical care. This includes lower childhood vaccination rates, less cancer screening, skipped cancer treatments, fewer preventive cardiovascular disease visits, just to name a few. Many of the consequences of these missed visits will not show up in the mortality statistics for this year but is something that we will have to live with over a long period of time.
On May 29th of this year, Zaria Gorvett reported for the BBC Future Program that most COVID-19 deaths will be not from the virus but from the collateral damage inflicted by the various lockdown measures. “Across the globe, patients have reported being denied cancer care, kidney dialysis and urgent transplant surgeries with sometimes fatal results,” she said. Reports from reputable medical bodies around the world have warned that lockdown measures could reverse a decade’s worth of gains in infant and child mortality.
We did the responsible thing seven months ago when faced with a novel and potentially deadly disease. We locked down and made sure that we were prepared for what would follow. Seven months on we are in a fundamentally different place. We know the disease, and we know the horrific cost of continuing self-destructive lockdown measures.
The time is long past for a return to rationality. We don’t need tighter controls. We need to move back in the direction of normality. We need to face reality.
You know what’s more deadly than the virus? The lockdown.