(Issues & Insights) We’ve listened intently as mainstream media outlets, both print and broadcast, have lectured us and the rest of America on the lifesaving virtues of the Wuhan virus lockdown. While it may well be true that it saved lives from the virus, what about the lives lost to the lockdown?
The economic devastation from the lockdown has had brutal consequences, in particular for small businesses, their owners and their often low-wage employees. With 38.6 million suddenly unemployed and applying for benefits, jobless rates shooting toward 20%, and bankruptcies crushing major industries, such as retailing, the near-term outlook is grim if the lockdowns continue.
Contrary to the now-trite progressive chant of “we’re all in this together,” those at the struggling bottom rungs of our once-thriving economy bear the brunt of the lockdown — not the privileged minority with secure government jobs or stable stay-at-home telecommuting gigs impervious to such things as shutdowns.
No, we’re not “all in this together.” And doctors, economists and others are concluding that the costs in lives lost may actually exceed the benefits, a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease.
A group of 600 doctors recently signed a letter sent to the president seeking an end to the lockdown. These doctors braved the opprobrium and possible political harassment from some of their fellow citizens to warn us all that the number of suicides from the lockdown’s crushing economic and psychological effects appears to be soaring.
“We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients. The downstream health effects of deteriorating a level are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error,” the letter said.
“The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure,” the letter continues. “In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.”