I guess the “Pro Science Crowd” would say it’s because the lockdowns prevent the virus from spreading too quickly which in turn prevents hospitals from being overrun.
They’d probably also add that virus cases are only spiking again because we eased up on the lockdown restrictions.
But the whole idea behind lockdowns, at least here in the US, is based on nonsense.
We got the lockdown idea first from China. They were the first country to get hit by the virus, and they responded by imposing a lockdown on the Hubei Province.
The virus then migrated to Europe, specifically Italy, where they responded by locking down basically the whole northern half of the country.
So when the virus came to America, we just copied everyone else’s response: lockdown.
Except now we’re going on 8 months of lockdown, which has of course varied in severity over those 8 months and from state to state.
But it was never supposed to be an indefinite lockdown. At first it was “15 days to slow the spread,” but that was on March 16.
Though we seemingly copied China’s strategy of locking down, we did not impose anywhere near as stringent of rules on our lockdown as China did with theirs. I went over this in a post the other day.
For instance, we allowed “essential businesses” to remain open. We did not ban interstate travel. We did not ban people from leaving their homes.
All that happened was the government issued “guidance” on how we should behave during this viral pandemic. No large gatherings. Only leave your home if you really have to. Work from home where possible. Promise you’ll quarantine for 14 days if you travel.
But we did not shut down all foreign travel. We should’ve done that the moment China imposed its first lockdown orders on Hubei Province. We should’ve done a full and complete shutdown on international travel immediately. No warnings. If you were an American overseas, sorry. Hunker down where you are until we figure out how to get you back safely. We should have not allowed a single boat or plane to enter the US back in January. Literally shut down all international travel to and from the US.
After we ensured we were completely cut off from the rest of the world, we could’ve come up with a plan to allow Americans traveling abroad to come home. It would require all travelers coming back to the States to be quarantined for 14 days and tested. You don’t get to leave quarantine until you’re confirmed to be non-contagious and healthy once again. Like the scene in Godfather II when Vito Corleone arrives at Ellis Island and has to be quarantined for three months because he has smallpox. You get off your plane and you go straight to a hospital to be tested and quarantined. No one can even come to visit you.
None of it would’ve been convenient. Not in the slightest. It would’ve sucked mightily. But tough shit. It’s all being done out of necessity. It’s for the greater good.
Because we failed to do that, the virus arrived on American soil. At first it started in New York City. What we should’ve done then was quarantine the whole New York City area. No one allowed in or our. Set up a military perimeter and contain the virus there.
But again, this would’ve been inconvenient and people would’ve gotten upset, so we didn’t do it.
Once the virus started spreading nationwide, we should have done a full-scale lockdown for three weeks. Nobody allowed to leave their home, unless they are either: a police officer, a firefighter, EMS/first responder, medical, active-duty military, a restaurant, a delivery driver, a trucker or a farmer. These would be “essential personnel.”
Three weeks allows everyone who has the virus at the time to recover from it. By the time the three weeks is up, it should be safe to allow things to go back to normal. Viruses can only survive by spreading from person to person.
“But how would we have gotten food!?”
The government could’ve nationalized Uber and turned it into a full-time, round-the-clock food delivery service. Uber drivers would be given extra pay for their services. Grocery delivery services like Amazon and Instacart and Blue Apron would be ramped up massively. Food would have to be rationed out and all ordering would be done via app.
“Rationing!? That’s communism!”
Take it easy. We did it during World War II. There are literally millions of Americans still alive today who lived through WWII and the rationing.
“But how would you enforce it all?”
Martial law. Full-blown police state. Military and national guard deployed to patrol the streets 24/7 to make sure people are not leaving their homes. If you’re caught outside your home in violation of the rules, you’re taken to a jail/quarantine center for 14 days and slapped with a fine.
“But that would be a complete clusterf*ck!”
Yeah, I know. But there’s really no other way.
“But how would people get money!?”
Stimulus checks. We already did that. The government would also institute a total and complete freeze on all mortgage and rent payments until the lockdown ended.
“But none of that is realistic at all!”
And that’s my point. A real lockdown would’ve encompassed all of the above. It would’ve been a full-scale, all-hands on deck, every-last-man-woman-and-child-in-this-country effort. It would have meant major inconvenience and sacrifice for virtually everyone.
And it would’ve sucked.
That’s why it could never have happened in this country. People are too selfish and soft. The moment they are inconvenienced once, they freak the hell out. Ask us to sacrifice for the good of the country, and you’ll never hear the end of it. It’s not like the complaints would be unfounded, either.
And then, to top it all off, if the government doesn’t institute a full totalitarian lockdown, we’ll complain because the government hasn’t stopped the virus.
This is why lockdowns only work in collectivist cultures with centralized, authoritarian governments. America does not have that: we are an individualist culture with a decentralized government that is only authoritarian in the worst ways (in that our government only unleashes its full wrath on peaceful, patriotic citizens while allowing the criminals and deviants to run free and terrorize the normal people. I.e. anarcho-tyranny).
Implementing a Covid response policy that could’ve actually worked was never a realistic option in America.
So instead we did a half-assed pseudo lockdown based on “guidelines” and the honor system. People are working from home, wearing masks when they go out, and living under all kinds of various “restrictions,” but it’s not a real lockdown. It’s a shitty-ass fake lockdown that has given us the worst of both worlds: it hasn’t stopped the virus at all (we have by far the most cases and deaths in the world) and it has made life miserable.
You literally could not devise a worse virus policy if you tried.
And because the virus still spreads, politicians believe the only solution is to keep us under half-ass, fake-ass lockdown until the virus stops spreading.
After 8 months of our half-ass, fake-ass lockdown not working, the politicians are either stupid or evil for continuing the policy. It been a clear, resounding and undeniable failure.
The first two policy ideas (complete and total international travel shutdown, and, failing that, a complete military containment of NYC and any “ground zero” areas for the virus) could’ve worked. The third (complete and total nationwide lockdown) was never a viable option.
An alternative and possibly more viable option would be a partial lockdown strategy that applied only to the elderly and the unhealthy. They could’ve released a set of rules saying that if you’re over the age of 75 and/or you meet the criteria for being high-risk of dying of the virus, then you must be under full quarantine with no exceptions. If you meet the criteria and you’re not yet retired, you’re exempt from work and get a check from the government every week until the government says the lockdown is over.
Everyone else gets to go on living normally, and basically the virus would be treated like we treated Swine Flu (aka we don’t do jack-shit about it). This would have built up herd immunity among the younger and healthy population, and it probably would’ve happened months ago. As I went over in a post earlier this year, the herd immunity threshold is likely between 15-25% of the population, not 50-60% as conventional wisdom claims.
Instead our half-ass lockdown policy has caused the virus to spread slowly and disrupted the natural herd immunity process from playing out. You can only have herd immunity if everyone gets the virus around the same time. But if the virus spreads slowly over the course of months, then the earliest people to get it will lose immunity while it’s still spreading, and run the risk of being reinfected.
“But herd immunity is inhumane and evil!”
No, it’s our species’ evolved defense mechanism against viral plagues.
Ultimately, herd immunity is the only way to get through a new virus. Because if you lock down, then once you lift the restrictions, the majority of the population is still going to be vulnerable to the new viral strain. Let’s say we did the full nationwide lockdown, everyone who had the virus recovered, and daily new cases went to zero. We then lift all the restrictions on travel and go fully back to normal. If someone from another country who is infected comes into America, the virus will just start spreading again.
Because we never built up herd immunity to it.
There’s no way around herd immunity, other than maybe a vaccine. But with Covid, we’re dealing with a virus that has a >99% survival rate. Most people don’t need the vaccine.
Look, nobody wants to hear it but there are no good options when it comes to viral pandemics. When a new strain of virus starts spreading, it’s inevitable that a lot of people are going to get it and some of those people are going to die. It’s unavoidable.
It is the height of childishness and government-worship to believe a man living in a big white mansion in Washington D.C. has the power to protect all 330 million Americans from a virus. Maybe in Communist China, where the government has virtually unchecked power, it’s possible for the government to take on a virus and win. But it comes at an immense price: your freedom. And even in China lots of people got the virus and died–many times more than the government’s official figures claim.
Again, after a virus first emerges, there are no good options for governments to choose from.
We went over a few different policy options our government could’ve taken once they found out about the virus. None of them were convenient or appealing for anyone.
Our government (meaning the 50 individual states and the federal government itself) happened to chose the one that was by far the worst of all. At least for us normal people.
Fortunately, though, some states, like Florida, have already realized that the half-assed lockdown approach was idiotic and have gone largely back to normal. You can see here Florida’s Based Chad Governor Ron DeSantis holding up a sign to remind people just how non-deadly Covid truly is as he announced his state would “never lockdown again”:
It’s time for the rest of the country to follow Florida’s lead.