Whenever the COVID-19 infection is on the rise, the demand for imposition of lockdown starts. Supporters of the lockdown will always justify their advocacy by saying that this is what medical experts are saying. In fact, physicians, nurses and virologists will generally support the lockdown as a means of reducing the spread of infection.
Governments often forget to do a cost-benefit analysis in their zeal to shut things down and this involves listening to experts from outside the medical field.
Medical experts are bound to promote whatever action is possible to protect public health. They don’t think about the cost of the lockdown, only the potential benefits. While their advice is important and we should take it seriously, medical experts are only able to offer part of the picture.
Economists are also experts in their field. Many economists are pointing to the financial damage wrought through nearly two years of rolling pandemic restrictions. They are sounding the alarm as the public debt becomes volatile and inflation rises. While we do not want economists to give medical advice, we should take their input when considering the lockdown. Rest assured, if the economy collapses it will cause a very direct loss to the people.
Logistics experts are expressing concern over world supply chain challenges. We are seeing unusual product shortages in everything from automotive computer chips to noodles for Asian restaurants. While the challenges presented by those shortcomings may seem trivial, they are a warning of a much larger potential problem.
The world population is close to eight billion people. It is only through a vast, complex and sensitive supply-chain system that we have been able to avoid mass starvation and economic breakdown. When countries impose lockdowns, the products they supply to the world are reduced or cut. This leads to a whiplash effect that can lead to all kinds of product shortages that can take months to resolve. Transportation issues have led to fuel shortages in Great Britain. While this is manageable now, what will happen in the northern countries if fuel delivery fails in January?
We should consult the experts of sociology. What is the impact of the lockdown on the society? People are stressed and divided. We’ve certainly seen a lot in the recent federal election. How much damage is being done to the unity of our society? How long will it take to recover?
Addiction experts have their hands full these days because we’ve seen a moderate opioid addiction crisis explode in a big way. From April of 2020 when the pandemic began to March of 2021, nearly 7,000 Canadians died of opioid overdoses. This is an increase of 88 per cent over the same period a year ago. We cannot pretend that the lockdown did not contribute to this. Get input from addiction experts as we make a decision.
Some kids are entering Class 2 this year and haven’t had the full school year experience in classes. What do early childhood experts say about how it affects their development? We can’t turn back the children’s clock. They are of that age only once.
Secondary level students are also facing problems. Online courses are a regrettable choice for many areas of learning. Our graduates are not going to get better for the lockdown.
In addition to experts in physical health, we also have experts in mental health. We should consult them on the psychological effects of the lockdown.
The medical expert adheres to the philosophy of “if it just saves a life, it’s worth it”. This approach makes sense from a medical point of view but is inappropriate in practice.
How many fatal collisions can be avoided if we all reduce the speed limit to 20 km/h?
How many lives would have been saved if we had ambulances on every street corner?
How many heart attacks could have been avoided if we had a diet consultant recommending it in every grocery store?
Why don’t we do those things? Because they will come at a very high cost.
We have always implemented cost benefit approach along with government policy. However, when it comes to the COVID-19 lockdown, we tend to forget that approach.
It is not unreasonable or heartless to ask other experts to weigh in before treating legislative moves as harsh as a public lockdown. The media and policy makers need to listen to a wide spectrum of experts before taking action. The perspective of a weary ICU nurse is important but so is the perspective of an economist.
Policy needs a balance, and if we don’t listen to diverse opinions, we will find that the lockdown is doing more harm than good.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times