As we enter the nearly nine-month mark of the coronavirus pandemic, we notice more and more effects of the disease, or should I say, how we have handled the disease. And it’s leading many experts to believe that we’ve done it all wrong.
Take the World Health Organization or WHO, for example.
As the organization many would be considered the leading health expert for the entire world, COVID-19 has undoubtedly been at the top of the WHO’s priority list for some time now. And it is by their recommendations that most of our national, state and local health guidelines have been implemented.
Everything from mask-wearing to social distancing measures, and even state and countrywide lockdowns have essentially begun at their say so.
But it seems that just like when they said the virus wasn’t a planet-wide threat and wasn’t contagious, most of those measures were put in place with very little thought to the lasting effect they may or may not have. And just like before, the organization has been forced to reverse their previous standing on the subject of how we handle such an event.
Lockdowns, for instance, were once said to be a must. In April, WHO Regional Director Takeshi Kasai stated that lockdowns would have to become the “new normal” until a vaccine was found and proved to be successful, as this allowed people to have little contact with anyone outside of their immediate family and home.
And so many states implemented this measure, some more strictly than others. “Non-essential” businesses such as hair salons, gyms, and bars and restaurants were closed. Hours at other business places, such as grocery stores, were cut, and people everywhere were nearly forced to stay at home.
But as the pandemic continues, it seems that lockdown measures are causing more harm to our nation and the world than the virus itself.
No, I’m not just talking about the economy, although that is a significant concern, and it is tied to the biggest problems.
Instead, we are talking about the physical health and well-being of entire communities.
Communities where people have been out of work for so long that they can’t afford to put food on their tables. Towns where those without an employer have been unable to go to the doctor, dentist, or other health professional because they no longer can afford insurance. Places where the number of those with depression or suicidal tendencies has nearly doubled, if not tripled in recent months.
And that’s just scratching the surface.
All of this has forced health experts like the WHO to take notice and say that maybe lockdown orders aren’t the best way to go about slowing the spread.
David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on the virus, is now saying, “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.”
As Nabarro told The Spectator, most of this starts at the economic level, but as I mentioned before, it trickles down and affects nearly everyone and everything.
He says, “Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.”
Instead, Nabarro and his co-workers suggest figuring out some other way to keep the virus away from the general population. In fact, he even says to stop using lockdowns.
“Stop using lockdown as your primary control method. Develop better systems for doing it. Work together and learn from each other.”
As he notes, children worldwide are literally dying, and at an alarming rate no less, from hunger and a lack of nutrition because their parents have been not allowed to work.
Sure, keeping the virus in check is essential, but as Nabarro seems to be hinting, at what cost?
What good are lockdowns and any other health regulation if more people die from their effects than from the disease you’re trying to stop?
At some point, we have to ask ourselves, is it really worth it? And the longer this goes on, the more the answer seems to be a resounding no.