“Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives. Do your part. Wash your hands.” These sacred chants have become commandments to live by in the recent British lifestyle, and for good reason.
Yes, we know, “staying at home” is the sensible thing to do. To all those people preaching this endlessly, however, and asking for even tougher lockdown restrictions, I want to ask: what novel contribution are you making to the topic, other than rambling on the same viewpoint which already has the unequivocal endorsement of the authorities, the government and the media?
It’s as if sheeple mentality has a tendency to override people’s inherent critical thinking nature — which we only find dissipating in these progressive times, with everyone becoming subservient to authoritarians — which may come in subtle forms such as groupthink, thy neighbours and the mass media, not your stereotypical armed militia policing the streets.
But wait, it’s to save lives…
Did any of you, even for a second, take a step back and ask yourselves, what are the tradeoffs associated with the lockdowns? Or, if there’s evidence that lockdown will actually work and save lives, given the possibility of reinfections? Or, that for every person who got the infection, the very vast majority recovered and carried on just fine?
Official statistics paint far from a complete picture as they fail to account for all those who got the infection and recovered without needing any hospitalisation or external care (myself included). These cases were not and are not being reported. If all cases could be accounted for, the denominator indicating the total infections would be, and in fact is, much much larger, bringing the actual mortality rate to a very tiny percentage. Mikko Paunio, a Finnish Government scientific adviser estimates this mortality rate at a low 0.13% — about the same as the flu.
And because developing countries (India for one) must unquestionably follow the Western world’s lead, nevermind the flaws, they have imposed even tougher, total lockdowns with a lot of misinformation spreading among people — especially the healthy young, who are overreacting to the pandemic, leaving those needing care helpless.
When dealing with unknown unknowns like COVID-19 which has an astronomically high infection rate, and its potential to disrupt healthcare systems, it is only a natural and sensible response for us to take the safer-than-sorry approach, which is what social distancing entails. Sacrificing a bit of personal freedom — cutting down on gym for a few weeks, not eating out, being unemployed and not socialising with friends sounds like a small tradeoff for the potential benefits the lockdown may bring. The question remains, for how long?
Toby Young, creator of Lockdown Sceptics, in The Telegraph questioned, “Where has the British love of liberty gone?” (cached). He stated, whereas in nations like Germany and the U.S., the majority — despite obeying the lockdown, want it to be over soon, the British public is in love with the idea of imposing even tougher restrictions and handing authorities more power, which the same authorities have abused.
A lot of healthy and young people have been affected financially and emotionally by the lockdown, yet I cannot find a single record of any protest against it in the UK. It’s as if we have surrendered to fate.
Dan Hodges, while walking on eggshells in his Daily Mail piece ultimately shifts people’s attention to the “vital voice missing from the discussions. The voice that sets aside the clinical and economic imperatives for a moment, and calmly points out a basic fact. We are surviving. And existing. But we are no longer living.” He prompts people to have a serious discussion about how long we can go on like this.
Bottomline is, given the possibility of reinfections, nobody knows if lockdown is working or will work. Without a vaccine or antiviral drugs, lockdowns may continue indefinitely without promising concrete results. What we do know for sure is: life has been grossly absent. We do know how badly these measures have impacted the economy and livelihoods — the forgotten vulnerable folks without their jobs. We can feel the devastating effects this is having on our mental and physical health — from lack of mobility and social life. We know the mortality rate from COVID-19 is infinitesimal, no worse than the flu. We know the vast majority that developed mild symptoms and recovered just fine — without needing any external help.
At some point, you need to cut the popular ‘noise’ and realistically evaluate the tradeoffs any policy has. The old and vulnerable need saving and the healthcare resources need to be managed — but that shouldn’t mean the vast majority; young and healthy who are the backbone of economy and the nation should be made vulnerable and suffer indefinitely from a lockdown which is likely to be extended even further.
While social distancing is a sensible choice, people’s love to be corralled like cattle without questioning authority — which hasn’t promised any tangible results from a lockdown yet, is beyond my comprehension.
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