November 15, 2020
We have now heard — over and over — of the importance of masks and socially-distancing as part of a wider effort to keep the COVID pandemic under control. Now, as more governmental agencies are pushing for more stringent lock-downs, a large group of epidemiologists are suggesting that the costs of extensive lock-downs outweigh their benefits. They have come out with the Great Barrington Declaration, which states, in part:
“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.”
I’m no scientist, but my concern with this approach is that hospitals will be overrun with COVID patients, which will not only put them in danger, it will jeopardize the health of everyone else who needs medical attention, whether because they suffer from chronic disease, or need emergent surgery, or because they simply need regular medical care.
One thing we can all agree on: This pandemic sucks.