Lockdown Critics Have Some Valid Points

By Joe Nocera in Bloomberg:

New York is the densest city in the country, and density is a crucial factor in spreading the virus. Yet cities and states that are far less dense have imposed the same restrictions as New York State. Idaho has a stay-at-home order; it has had 172 hospitalizations and 58 deaths as of Tuesday.(1)Kansas: 504 hospitalizations and 124 deaths. Maine: 163 hospitalizations and 51 deaths. Meanwhile, Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas never instituted a shelter-at-home order — yet the state has only 104 current hospitalizations and 52 deaths. Which suggests an obvious question: Does it make sense for these less dense places to be imposing the same restrictions as New York?

Focus on the elderly. “Every piece of evidence we have suggests that the virus is mild for most people but can be devastating for those who are frail and vulnerable,” Ioannidis told me. That primarily means people with significant underlying conditions and the elderly.

….It’s been said that lockdown critics are willing to sacrifice the elderly to more quickly develop herd immunity and defeat the virus. But the ones I’ve spoken to say just the opposite: that what the states need to do is put money and effort towards protecting the elderly and vulnerable — and keeping them as far away from the virus as possible. That may be a tall order given the way society depends on facilities to care for the elderly. But it’s not impossible.

How much damage are we overlooking in our single-minded focus on the coronavirus? When you get right down to it, this is the big question. The enormous damage being done to the economy because of the lockdowns is a given. Let’s consider some of the other problems that have emerged.

For instance, the New York Post posted an article on Monday by Daniel G. Murphy, an emergency room doctor in the Bronx. He wrote that since the coronavirus struck, people without Covid-19 were avoiding the emergency room. He added:

A large share of those staying home surely have emergency medical and surgical conditions not related to the novel coronavirus. The growing numbers dying at home during this crisis must include fatal myocardial infarctions, asthma exacerbations, bacterial infections and strokes.

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