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Rated: E · Essay · Community · #2226783
Essay for round 2 (July 2020) of 4 Controversies contest. Topic: COVID
Introduction

The lockdown is a hypocritical power ploy, driven by a surfeit of fear and a scarcity of data. It cannot be maintained for an extended period without creating devastating consequences to individuals, to families, and to nations. By employing alternative measures, this public health crisis could have been managed while averting the excessive negative impact on the economic, health, educational, and social well-being of our citizens and our countries. Billions, not millions, of lives are at stake.

This policy is a hypocritical power grab by government officials. It was driven by a surfeit of fear and based on a scarcity of accurate and available information. The negative impact will ripple through our economy, health, education and culture having exorbitant cost and causing irreparable harm. Alternative approaches could have been used to protect the vulnerable and maintain civil liberties. With care and foresight, epidemics need not become pandemics and pandemics need not grind our world to a halt.


Hypocritical Power-play

Hypocrisy

Law and policy makers accept deaths from other causes as a matter of course. They cause no disruption in society and are rarely even on most people’s radar. In comparison to the number of these other deaths in any given year, the number of COVID deaths is very small. Consider shooting deaths, yet in the U.S. there is still no gun control.


Most regulations are approved based on economic costs versus lives saved. If the only goal of government is to minimize deaths, then the first step would be to prohibit people from driving cars and abolish swimming pools, amusement parks, and bacon. We do not do these things because we have decided as a society that benefits for 320 million Americans of having reliable transportation outweigh deaths on the highway. You cannot crush the economy without having a significant degree of human misery and even deaths, not counting the loss in dollars of wealth and income. 1


At the very start of life, abortion, the most heinous form of murder is legal. Euthanasia, at the end of life is somewhat less reprehensible only because there are fewer of them, and because, so far at least, it’s voluntary. With greater availability of hospices, adequate palliative care and pain-management, far fewer people with terminal diseases would choose “medically assisted suicide”. Marijuana has been made legal in Canada which will result in more traffic deaths due to impaired driving. Though you’ll not die from a weed overdose, being high on it can induce you to do dangerous and stupid things that could lead to death. 2

If the lives of seniors were as valuable as the government claims, nursing homes would not have been in such an abysmal state for so long. They are under-staffed most of the time, ill-equipped to meet the needs of their residents, and not monitored to prevent abuse. The height of hypocrisy was displayed by our leaders. Shortly after shutting down the economy, and while preaching “social distance”, they participated in a large protest.

The sheer arbitrariness of the lockdown, during which pols, drunk on their new powers, deemed services essential or nonessential depending on their ideological preferences, has been punctuated by the riots and protests, where all the COVID rules suddenly disappeared. We see nanny-state liberals, formerly so censorious of clustered gatherings, marching arm and arm with Black Lives Matter. 3


Power-hungry policy makers

None of the above causes of death make any impact on daily life and the normal functioning of government and society. There have been other “new” viruses but none but COVID were given such a high profile. Crises give power to government; the bigger the crisis, the more power they grab and the more freedom they take from citizens.


Nothing makes government grow like a crisis. People get scared, politicians respond to that fear with promises that the state will step in and make everything better, and government ends up larger and more powerful. The pandemic of COVID-19 coronavirus threatens a world-wide wave of sickness, but it's the healthiest thing to happen to government power in a very long time. As it leaves government with a rosy glow, however, our freedom will end up more haggard than ever. Fear is a survival characteristic, but it makes us vulnerable to the impulse—or demand—that we surrender control to somebody else.4

Some governments violate privacy by using people’s cell phones to track their movement. In several areas of Ontario, they have “mandated” the wearing of masks in enclosed public places. Will they eventually “mandate” vaccination as well?

The shutdown revolved around an irrational assessment of risk, one which failed to weigh the consequences of crushing an economy, distorting social life, and suppressing freedom. Other means, short of a total shutdown, could have protected the old and sick, but officious pols, determined to retain as much power as possible, dismissed those plans out of hand. These same pols, who postured about the danger of “losing even one life,” support abortion and euthanasia and kept the abortion clinics open during the shutdown while banning religious services. 5

Governments gobble up power faster than E.T. gobbled M&Ms. The Canadian people’s habit of deference to authority and desire to avoid conflict enables the erosion of our freedom. 6 When the perceived danger is over, how much bigger will the government be? How many new restrictions will remain? How much less free choice will we have even years into the future? How many new government powers will live on long after COVID?7

You don’t use a sledgehammer to kill a fly. These draconian measures could back-fire when people get tired of freedom yanked from them with no timeline for having them restored. Chaos will result when citizens no longer have trust and goodwill toward their country’s leaders.

Previous pandemics and predictions

Pandemics are not a new phenomenon, and neither are wildly over-estimated predictions of death counts that didn’t materialize 8:
*Bullet* 1997 bird flu to kill millions worldwide
*Bullet* 1999 BSE (mad cow disease) in EU to kill 500,000
*Bullet* 2003 SARS outbreak to have 25% chance of killing millions
*Bullet* 2006 bird flu declared to be pandemic first pandemic of 21st century
*Bullet* 2009 swine influenza pandemic lasting 19 months


The Council of Europe’s health committee chairman described the hyping of the 2009 pandemic as “one of the great medical scandals of the century”. These scenarios could have all come to pass of course – but they represent the direr end of the scale of predictions. Should public life really be conducted on a worst-case basis? 9

If this is the usual pattern, why do we still believe the dire over-estimates of potential deaths the media feeds us to make the “medicine” of lock-down go down more easily? If the government’s action plan pointed out that “the virus is highly contagious, but the great majority of those who develop symptoms will experience only a mild-to-moderate but self-limiting illness”, the author of the above quote explains below why we pay attention to the ill-founded predictions of doom.

The government’s action plan pointed out that the virus is highly contagious, but the “great majority” of those who develop symptoms will experience only a “mild-to-moderate but self-limiting illness”. Every medical expert I have heard on the subject is reasonable and calm. Not so politicians and the media. They love playing to the gallery, as they do after every health scare and terrorist incident. So for the moment, if you see a virus story containing “might” “could” “possibly” or “worst-case scenario”, stop reading. You are being fed war talk. Let them wash your hands, but not your brain. 10


Data Disaster

Numbers have a certain mystique: They seem precise, exact, sometimes even beyond doubt. But outside the field of pure mathematics, this reputation rarely is deserved. And when it comes to the coronavirus epidemic, buying into that can be downright dangerous.11

Which formula should drive the decision?

The three formulas related to an epidemic or to a pandemic are: infection rate, case fatality rate and mortality rate. The infection rate is calculated by dividing the number of infection cases by the entire population. The case fatality rate is calculated by dividing the number who die from the infection by the number of infection cases. The mortality rate is calculated by dividing the number who die from the infection by the entire population.

The problem with all three of these is that the only number that can be estimated with any reasonable accuracy is the entire population which is based on the Census and annual vital statistics (births and deaths). Getting an accurate count or even a reasonably close estimate of either the number of people infected with or the number who died from COVID is impossible.12

While knowing the infection rate and the case fatality rate are helpful, it is the mortality rate that should have been considered by policy makers before crippling the economy, the education system and the public health care services. Assuming we could accurately determine how many died from the virus, the COVID mortality rate would not justify the draconian measures taken by a power-hungry government.


Let’s put this into perspective. In 2019, the Centre for Disease Control reports that 61,200 people died from the common flu virus. That’s 168 deaths per day! Compared to Coronavirus that was first reported on December 31, with 213 deaths in total until January 31. Based on last years statistics, 5,208 people have died of the common flu in that same time period. ...Wuhan Coronavirus, while highly infectious, is reported to have a low fatality rate, with a mortality rate of only two percent, compared to SARS that had a mortality rate of 9.6 percent, Lassa at 10-20 percent and Ebola at 50 percent. 13

Fatally flawed data

The number of people infected with COVID has been significantly under-counted.14 Even if we could accurately determine the number who died from it, the case fatality rate would be significantly lower than what is currently quoted. The under-counting results from:
*Bullet* Testing not available for people infected in the earlier months of the pandemic
*Bullet* People under 70 who were infected but without symptoms that did not get tested
*Bullet* People afraid to gather with others in line-ups to get tested
*Bullet* People were treated with symptoms common to flu and COVID without being tested
*Bullet* Testing procedures and methods of processing not standardized15
*Bullet* Definition of “infected” changed mid-stream 16

An accurate number of COVID deaths depends entirely on properly completed death certificates17 and the guidance provided about this was neither consistent nor standardized. Missing and poor quality data is a problem in Canada.18 The health data pipelines are woefully inadequate due to lack of funding. There is insufficient data to provide reliable mortality statistics in Canada.19

It’s impossible to know how many who died from the flu were certified as having died from COVID. Very few corpses were tested for the virus since the limited available kits were needed for the living. If the COVID deaths are over-counted, both the case fatality rate and the mortality rate would be much lower than the rates provided to us.


As a doctor working in the midst of the COVID chaos, I’ve seen people die and be listed as a victim of coronavirus without ever being tested for it. But unless we have accurate data, we won’t know which has killed more: the disease or the lockdown. ... However, out in the community, death certification is certainly not an exact science. Never was, never will be. It’s true that things are somewhat more accurate in hospitals, where there are more tests and scans, and suchlike. Then, along comes COVID-19, and many of the rules – such as they were – went straight out of the window. ... I do know that other doctors put down COVID on anyone who died from early March onwards. I didn’t. What can be made of the statistics created from data like these? First, if we vastly overestimate deaths from COVID, we will greatly underestimate the harm caused by the lockdown. 20

Faulty models and inflated predictions

People with even minimal technical expertise know the maxim: “Garbage in. Garbage out”. The highly complex statistical models used to predict COVID deaths have provided wildly over-estimated counts. 21 22 Unfortunately, these were a huge factor in the lock-down decisions made by many government bodies.


As the statistical models on deaths are revised downward and the economic and social costs of the stay-at-home strategy grow more dire, contrarians are diving into the data and asking whether the lockdown pain was worth the gain — or whether the COVID-19 reaction was overblown. ... “When data flies in the face of intuition, you must dig deeper. If after scrutiny that data still violates intuition, you must question the narrative,” tweeted Mr. Weiss. “Social distancing works, but shutting down businesses might give 10% of the benefit for 90% of the pain.”23

The flawed data and mistaken assumptions have provided death counts that are being consistently reduced as more data becomes available. It’s been a “data fiasco” driving critically important decisions based on a worst-case scenario.

The future fall-out of faulty data

Citizens and governments need to know the truth. How many deaths were caused by COVID and how many resulted from the lockdown? Excess mortality is defined by WHO as “Mortality above what would be expected based on the non-crisis mortality rate in the population of interest. Excess mortality is thus mortality that is attributable to the crisis conditions.” Only high income countries have sufficient statistical data to provide this data.24 How many people died from the disruptions due to lockdown rather than from the virus itself? There are a staggering number of “excess deaths”, far beyond what COVID accounts for. 25


In indirect mortality, changes and disruptions in the healthcare system during the pandemic may have contributed to a death. ... Is there any relationship between the pandemic and the circumstances that were caused by the pandemic that led to the increase in deaths related to other diseases?” he said. ... Furness, who is a professor in the Faculty of Information and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, said data on excess mortality is critical. 26

When all we have are inflated predictions and completely unreliable data, will policy makers end the lockdown before life as we know it can never be restored?

Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm? ... The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. 27

If the lockdown was a huge mistake, the government has an easy escape hatch. Without adequate data, they only need to claim that all the deaths were from COVID and avoid humiliation and backlash.

The bottom line here is that, if we do not diagnose deaths accurat ely, we will never know how many died “of” COVID, or ‘because of’ the COVID lockdown. ...The other reason why having accurate statistics is vitally important is in planning for the future. We have to accurately know what happened this time, in order to plan for the next pandemic, which seems almost inevitable as the world grows more crowded. ... If COVID killed 30,000, and lockdown killed the other 30,000, then the lockdown was a complete and utter waste of time. and should never happen again. The great fear is that this would be a message this Government does not want to hear – so they will do everything possible not to hear it. It will be decreed that all the excess deaths we have seen this year were due to COVID. That escape route will be made far easier if no-one has any real idea who actually died of COVID, and who did not. Yes, the data on COVID deaths really matters.28

We need to know if the lockdowns are warranted or if they are causing far more harm than is necessary or bearable.

One can only hope that, much like in 1918, life will continue. Conversely, with lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake. ... If we decide to jump off the cliff, we need some data to inform us about the rationale of such an action and the chances of landing somewhere safe. 29

Leaders are providing contradictory information. This alone calls into question how much fear and rashness were behind the lockdown decision.

The Trudeau government and Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam have repeatedly given contradictory health advice to Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic. ... Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Liberals and Dr. Tam have walked back their initial claims regarding the severity of the virus and issued statements that contradict what was said previously. 30

The virus scare is far worse than the virus itself. Pursuing their usual patterns, the media thrives on crisis, using language designed to keep emotion at a fever-pitch. To what extent does this encourage citizens to hand over their freedom in exchange for being “taken care of” by leaders who are as bewildered and panicked as they are?

As in most crises, the news media does far more harm than good. In order to fill 24/7 time slots, they perfect the “art of hype” to keep you glued to their share of the tube.


Burdened with the need to fill airtime 24 hours a day, cable news to}o often stretches the smallest story into hours of programming — often featuring half a dozen panelists competing with each other to offer worst-case scenarios, a kind of horror-movie promo campaign designed to make sure you never change the channel. 31{/x-link}

The media have a duty to provide information about a public health crisis. This can be done without alarmist language that encourages things like racial tension and intolerance toward those who take COVID with a different degree of seriousness.

While the media has a duty to report about issues related to public health, it is well-established that news coverage can have a significant impact on people's behavior.
In the case of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the ongoing domination of the story in the media that is littered with alarmist rhetoric and misinformation is arguably escalating tensions and creating an epidemic of hostility towards China. 32

When starved for information, anxiety-driven people will believe and share misinformation with an astonishing speed and complete lack of critical discernment. In fairness, most of us have limited science background and lack other knowledge that would point out errors in what we consume through news and through social media.

One of the reasons we might be seeing more people falling for misinformation is the knowledge gap that comes with an emerging disease like COVID-19. There’s a lot we still don’t know about this virus, and that lack of understanding can create a vacuum that is all too easily filled by conspiracy theories and misinformation. ... “The problem is we can’t say how much fake news is reinforcing beliefs and entrenching beliefs and causing people, almost, to enter this domain of nihilism where they just throw up their hands,” Kreps said. “They don’t know what to believe, so they’re not going to believe anything. Not believing anything can be as pernicious as believing fake news.” 33

If the goal of news media is to fill us with dread, to turn us against our Asian community, to excite social unrest, and to encourage us to allow our government to decrease our freedom, they are succeeding far too well.

Devastating Damage

Months of lock-down have brought wreckage to the lives of individuals, to families, and to industries in the private sector. Our national and global economies have suffered severe, perhaps irreparable damage. Global trade relations are strained at best and supply chains are disrupted. There is a decrease in manufacturing and in household spending. The only thing besides stress that has increased for many has been debt.

Countries are being effectively shut down to protect a few lives, yet we fail to acknowledge that the shuttering of factories, the failure of businesses as cities become ghost towns, the fuelling of racist and xenophobic tendencies will all have consequent effects on the poor, vulnerable and marginalized presently and into the future — effects which may be far more impactful on the health of the human population than the disease itself. 34

The service and tourism sectors are non-functional, wreaking havoc in the lives of their now laid-off workers. Many of these people who are single parents worked two or more jobs in these establishments to earn enough to support their families. The majority of individuals who’ve remained healthy, physically at least, have lost their jobs, their businesses and large portions of their retirement investments. There is a clear link between unemployment and suicide.

In rough terms, each 1 percent rise in unemployment leads to one additional suicide for each 100,000 people. If unemployment increases by 5 percent in the current economic shutdown, that could mean some 16,500 additional suicides. A 10 percent spike in unemployment could mean some 30,000 additional suicides. 35

Only the public sector has prospered, gifted with increased authority by the COVID crisis.

In the liberal democracies, as the COVID-19 juggernaut flattens everything in its path, it is suddenly the time of the Strong Man, the political leader who juts out his jaw and proclaims to frightened and grateful followers that he will do what has to be done and whatever it takes. He tells us that big government and a state-run economy will save and protect us all, now and for the indefinite future. If we have to forget freedom, so be it. ... Politicians seldom give up extreme executive power once they have it. ... Draconian provisions to meet an emergency situation seldom have a sunset clause and strangely stay in place long after the emergency has passed. ... The structure of Canadian government has long permitted an excess of executive power and the country’s habit of deference to authority encourages its use. ... The punch of executive power in Canada is magnified by the deference to authority of the Canadian people. ... There is a deep-seated reluctance to challenge authority and a desire to avoid conflict. 36

The closing of elementary and secondary schools has put poorer children and those with special needs at a greater disadvantage than those from affluent homes. 37 They don’t have access to a computer, to internet; usually they have no quiet place to study. They may even be helping to care for sick family members. Most parents are ill-equipped and entirely unprepared for home-schooling when they are faced with trying to work from home or who are poorly educated and unable to help their children with homework in normal circumstances. Some are being left alone for extended periods so parents can get to work.

We need to recognize that the public health concern of the coronavirus isn't the only concern here. Yes, with an apparent U.S. mortality rate of between 0.1% and 1%, the coronavirus is serious. But so too must we be attentive to the plight of tens of millions of service sector employees. They have to make rent, or they'll have to move in with others. Or go homeless. ... We don't know how long this crisis will last. But even if it lasts just a few weeks, the costs of a total shutdown are likely to ruin or seriously damage the lives of millions of our fellow citizens. We must protect their interests as well as those particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. 38

Other consequences of the lock-down include:
*Bullet* Adolescents are denied the environment they need for social development with their peers.
*Bullet* People caring for elderly family members with serious non-COVID health problems have lost support such as respite care or professional help.
*Bullet* People with mental health conditions are far more likely to relapse, harm themselves or commit suicide.
*Bullet* The isolation of families provides even greater opportunity for abuse of spouses, children or seniors. 39
*Bullet* People with severe addictions are at greater risk from seizures or overdose. 40

Even if all of these consequences could have been foreseen, would our governments have given other alternatives greater consideration? Probably not. Now that they do see the consequences, would they enforce a lock-down with the next pandemic? Time will tell.


What can explain the disparate responses to COVID-19 and influenza? Fear of the unknown is certainly at play. Flu is familiar; coronavirus is not. Humans are also risk-averse. ... No public official, especially in an election year, wants to be accused of doing too little. No business owner, educator, or religious leader wants to be blamed for not being concerned enough about the welfare of their customers, students, or parishioners. ... Clearly, earlier availability of widespread, rapid testing would have allowed the identification of cases so that isolation measures could be more targeted. Despite this failure, it is possible that ingenious measures, less extreme than those currently being imposed, could have been devised to accomplish most of the public-health benefits with less economic and social cost. 41


An Alternate Approach?

Alarm inhibits clear, critical thinking and precludes creative solutions to problems. When a situation demands a rapid response, it is rarely the best approach. It can be, for lack of careful consideration, a defective decision. Government officials’ refusal to consider other approaches to the COVID crisis was self-serving. It relieved their intensely-felt compulsion to “do something” at the expense of those whose needs they are most out of touch with.

“These are very drastic decisions that don’t work effectively; these are political theatre,” infectious diseases expert Dr. Neil Rau told CTV News Channel. 42

A lock-down is not only unnecessary, it is a mistake rushed into that is ruining millions of }people’s lives. Shutting down the economy’s service sector was “over-kill”.

“It is now clear that the lockdowns were a major mistake everywhere except the New York City metro area, and possibly even there,” said author and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, a leading voice among the COVID-19 contrarians. ... “Certainly, a full complete lockdown reduces the spread of the virus,” said the study. “However, as the above data shows, there is an apparent similar decline in the rate of infection even in countries that did not enforce a full shutdown.” 43

There is an obvious and compelling public health interest in taking steps to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic. But the excessive rush to close down the economy's service sector isn't just a mistake — it's one that will ruin lives. 44

Not only is lock-down harmful, it is ineffective. Rather than lock up healthy people, let them acquire “herd immunity” which happens when a large enough share of the population has become immune to the virus, so that contagion slows and eventually dies out. There is no guarantee that it will even be possible to create a vaccine.

We need to flatten the curve for the elderly but accelerate herd immunity for the healthy so that we don’t kill the economy trying to outrun the pandemic in lockdown. While home isolation for one month might stop an outbreak, it merely sets the clock back as the virus may return if it is not globally defeated. 45

Mandating masks is far less effective than teaching people how to strengthen their immune systems. Common sense dictates that the reason why some fail to catch viruses and others only experience mild symptoms lies in the strength of their immune system. Instead “experts” ignore the value of nutrition, exercise, supplements and natural remedies and promise a vaccine that will further enrich “big pharma”.

It’s almost as though the Ontario government doesn’t believe human beings have immune systems or that they’re of any use whatsoever. The only hope, Ontario seems to believe, is for a pharmaceutical company to patent a vaccine, because that is the only way that human beings can defend themselves against a virus, or acquire immunity. ... This official attitude is utter nonsense—there is actually an abundance of scientific evidence supporting various nutritional supplements as being instrumental in preparing people’s immune systems to repel or overcome viral infections. ... The US government is bedded down even more cozily than the Canadian government with the pharmaceutical companies who will eventually be licenced to produce the sacred vaccine.46

The majority of deaths could have been prevented if nursing home residents were better cared for. Sweden’s approach to the COVID crisis would have been far more successful had it not been for their nursing home situation. 47 Probably most other western countries have similar poor conditions in nursing homes due to under-funding, inadequate staffing and insufficient monitoring.

Banning large gatherings and non-urgent travel is a no-brainer. Closing everything else is both futile and detrimental. There is no stopping the virus and the only effective way to end it is to give people the opportunity to develop an immunity to it.


The WHO containment ideal requires a huge societal sacrifice from those at low risk, to prevent it spreading to those at high risk. ... The WHO’s goal of stopping a respiratory virus that generates two to three new cases from each case has been compared with trying to stop the wind. The genie is out of the bottle. ... The WHO should abandon the containment ideal and urge countries to focus on how to best identify, prevent and treat the infection in the population that’s most at risk, in addition to protecting staff and patients in hospitals and the broader health-care community. 48

Schools could be kept open at reduced capacity so as to meet the needs of more disadvantaged students. Instead of attending daily, they could attend weekly with the students divided into five groups and spread throughout the classrooms. Some modified form of social distancing could be achieved with some creative ingenuity.

Businesses, restaurants and places of worship could remain open at reduced capacity. This would provide greater opportunity for essential social contact for people without the technical advantage or expertise to interact online. This would also provide opportunity to achieve herd immunity. Clinics that provide mental health services could also remain available to clients who need to be observed face-to-face by counsellors to assess their risk of relapse.


One of the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long social distancing measures and lockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy, society, and mental health. Unpredictable evolutions may ensue, including financial crisis, unrest, civil strife, war, and a meltdown of the social fabric. 49


Conclusion


COVID-19 is not the first pandemic in history, but the way it was handled has “made history” in the most deplorable fashion. Our leaders must resist the temptation to enforce draconian policies whose pain exceeds their gain. Not only is it a futile attempt to put the genie back in the bottle, it is “political theatre” supported by the media’s tendency for fear-mongering.

Social distancing must be balanced with people’s social needs. Government officials’ only hope to retain their citizen’s goodwill is to fully restore their civil liberties as soon as possible and to make essential healthcare system improvements their first priority. This includes improving and monitoring nursing homes, funding initiatives to improve data availability, and ensuring testing supplies are promptly available.

The medical community needs to “get out of bed with the pharmaceutical industry” and to promote lifestyle measures that actually work to maintain optimum physical and emotional health. Encouraging holistic rather than the traditional allopathic approaches will significantly lighten the load on the healthcare system in future generations.

Trust in the media is sliding down a pit whose walls are slimy with hype. This is not reparable in the short-term. Reform can start with providing content that is balanced, practical and helpful to the public. An important service could be to provide science-based practical information about improving the body’s immune system. By influencing people to abandon self-destructive habits in favour of new ones, they could encourage a lifestyle that will provide effective “armour” against virus “arrows”.


More Information


The Lockdown Generation's "Lost Season" Will Incur Huge Unseen Social Costs  
Special Report: How the COVID-19 lockdown will take its own toll on health  
Coronavirus Hysteria: The Numbers Don’t Warrant the Media Hype  
How Covid-19 misinformation is still going viral  
Stop the COVID-19 shutdown madness  
COVID-19 Fears: Overreaction, Underreaction, And Unity  
Coronavirus: Sweden — Herd Immunity vs Herd Mentality  
Coronavirus Crisis Reopens 150-Year-Old Controversy  
Germ theory vs terrain theory in relation to the coronavirus  
OPINION: Germ Theory v. Terrain Theory  
Covid-19 Mental Health Impacts  
The importance of your immune system in fighting COVID-19 and how to keep it healthy  
Complete lockdown would cause more harm than good, dissenting top doctor claims  
A Doctor’s Assessment of the COVID-19 Outbreak  
As civil liberties erode, Canada must not allow COVID-19 outbreak to infect the rule of law: Government can suppress civil liberties in the name of protecting them, but how far will it go?  
Why draconian measures may not work: Two experts say we should prioritize those at risk from COVID-19 than to try to contain the uncontainable  

Footnotes
1  Shutdown is killing the economy—and is also no good for our health  
2  Marijuana Related Deaths: What You Don’t Hear in the News  
3  The COVID Skeptics Were Right  
4  Coronavirus Will Be Deadly To Your Liberty  
5  The COVID Skeptics Were Right  
6  We are giving up our freedoms in the fight against COVID-19. The question is will we get them back?  
7  The Covid-19 response must balance civil liberties and public health — experts explain how.  
8  Why I’m taking the coronavirus hype with a pinch of salt  
9  Why I’m taking the coronavirus hype with a pinch of salt  
10  Why I’m taking the coronavirus hype with a pinch of salt  
11  We’re Reading the Coronavirus Numbers Wrong: Up-to-the-minute reports and statistics can unintentionally distort the facts.  
12  Why the exact death toll for COVID-19 may never be known  
13  Coronavirus: Are We Overreacting?  
14  Is the lockdown an overreaction? Uproar over epidemiologist John Ioannidis’ study minimizing coronavirus risks  
15  Data controversy spreads nationwide on positive COVID-19 tests  
16  We’re Reading the Coronavirus Numbers Wrong: Up-to-the-minute reports and statistics can unintentionally distort the facts.  
17  We’re Reading the Coronavirus Numbers Wrong: Up-to-the-minute reports and statistics can unintentionally distort the facts.  
18  Canada's public data on COVID-19 is (mostly) a mess. Here's how to find the useful info  
19  Statistics Canada mortality report too limited in data to be useful during pandemic, experts say  
20  COVID deaths–how accurate are the statistics?  
21  Coronavirus ‘Could Be Up To Four Times LESS Deadly Than Feared’  
22  How accurate is the US coronavirus death count? Some experts say it's off by 'tens of thousands'  
23  Shutdown skeptics challenge health establishment over 'major mistake'  
24  Excess mortality from the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)  
25  Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19  
26  Hundreds of ‘excess deaths’ in Alberta amid COVID-19 pandemic  
27  A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data  
28  We’re Reading the Coronavirus Numbers Wrong: Up-to-the-minute reports and statistics can unintentionally distort the facts.  
29  A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data  
30  Six times federal officials contradicted themselves about the coronavirus  
31  Inheriting the wind: We're experiencing the result of years of news hype  
32  Are coronavirus fears being over-hyped by the media?  
33  How Bad Is The COVID-19 Misinformation Epidemic?  
34  Coronavirus – over-reaction with potentially dire consequences  
35  Shutdown is killing the economy—and is also no good for our health  
36  We are giving up our freedoms in the fight against COVID-19. The question is will we get them back?  
37  90% of the world's students are in lockdown. It's going to hit poor kids much harder than rich ones  
38  Total coronavirus shutdown risks destroying millions of lives  
39  We must consider the negative health consequences of the lockdown  
40  Life in lockdown: how the COVID-19 pandemic complicates existing mental health conditions  
41  A Doctor’s Assessment of the COVID-19 Outbreak  
42  Can putting a city under lockdown stop the spread of a coronavirus?  
43  Shutdown skeptics challenge health establishment over 'major mistake'  
44  Total coronavirus shutdown risks destroying millions of lives  
45  More herd immunity, less herd mentality  
46  Coronavirus Crisis Reopens 150-Year-Old Controversy  
47  Sweden Starts Criminal Probe Into Care Home After Coronavirus Deaths  
48  Why draconian measures may not work: Two experts say we should prioritize those at risk from COVID-19 than to try to contain the uncontainable  
49  A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data  

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