A Case Against "Lockdownism"

Güncelleme tarihi: 26 Oca 2021


We are living in the strangest times of modern history. The COVID-19 situation has changed everything. Also, there is a lot of views expressed by people who are professional and who people do not even know anything about the COVID situation.


However, as a free-thinker, I have a different opinion on the lockdowns due to several reasons that I will explain. Since I am not an epidemiologist, thereby I should not talk about the effects of the coronavirus on health. That's why my arguments are based on logical and empirical points of view.

 

LOGICAL ARGUMENT

Where we can draw the line between flu and COVID-19? I think this is some sort of polylogism. If we say that COVID-19 could kill some people that’s why we must have a lockdown, we must say the same thing for flu. People with asthma even could die with perfumes or deodorants. Should we ban perfumes too? Since, there is no difference between smoking in public and throw garbage at someone’s property because we all can agree that smoking leads to passive smoking which leads to escalating the risk of serious diseases such as lung cancer, which is a private property violation. What is the difference between flu, perfumes, COVID-19, drunk driving, air pollution and passive smoking? They are fundamentally the same I think, they do harm to an unrelated person. I mean, which percentage is dangerous? Assume that perfumes kill with the chance of %0.001, flu kills with %0.1, COVID-19 kills with %3.1 [1]. If we say in case of COVID-19 we should have lockdown because it has a high mortality rate, then I will ask a question:

After “what” percent is considered to have a lockdown? Should we go lockdown with a disease that has a death chance of %1? Or with a %2? If “yes”, then why we do not have to consider lockdown in flu? If “no”, why we have to consider lockdown in COVID-19?

My position on this topic, we should choose either “lockdown for all diseases” or “let them spread”, in order to do not a fallacy (polylogism). And since the first option is impossible, I have chosen the second option. An individual would try to protect themself against a bad situation. For example, Chinese people have been using masks since the 2010s because of air pollution. They had seen the problem and they have been using masks since the problem was started. If we did not take an action in COVID-19, people who love themselves would still use masks and other protection techniques against COVID-19. You probably ask that “What would happen if a person has spread the virus to another person and killed?”. There are two possibilities:

  • A- Deliberately Spreading: What would happen if Walter has poisoned Recep with ricin (which is similar to the COVID-19, death in the long term), and Recep has died? Walter would be convicted of first-degree murder. It is literally the same with a situation that George (coronavirus carrier) intentionally sneezes on Thomas’s face.

  • B- Unintentional Spreading: What would happen if a restaurant serves you a poisonous mushroom by mistake and you have died? The restaurant owner would be convicted of involuntary third-degree murder. It is literally the same with a situation that George (coronavirus carrier) unintentionally sneezes to Thomas’s face.

In possibility A; Thomas would use a mask in order to not be killed if he loves himself. In possibility B; George would use a mask because he would not want to commit a crime.

Thereby we can easily solve this problem from my perspective. I hope that I have described my view clearly.

 

EMPIRICAL AND UTILITARIAN ARGUMENTS


1) What about the lives that we have unintentionally ruined or even killed with the consequences of lockdown? Such as economic circumstances, high level of money printing, bankrupting of small businesses, drug overdose deaths [1], increase in alcoholism [2], high rate of suicides [3], starvation due to economic reasons (which leads to suicide [4]), ruined relationships, ruined marriages, disputes with families, education inefficiency [5] that would cause educational trouble in the future. For instance, most institutions are dropping the requirement of SAT for the class of 2021 [6], meaning students can secure admission without the scores. How can we ignore all of these things in order to prevent a disase? I mean, assume that we have eradicated the coronavirus, but 1 million people have died because of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, there is 10 million suicides because of the COVID situation. Is this still a "win" situation? I think not.

 

2) Empirically, there is no correlation that supports the argument that “lockdowns are working”. For instance, Peru has the strictest lockdown [1] in the world but their fatality rate [2] is much higher than in other countries. So if lockdowns do not work, then what is the purpose of it? Sweden does not have any lockdown but they handled the COVID-19 better than European countries that have strict lockdowns. You might say that “it depends on a lot of factors, such as the implementation of lockdowns or population density, hence it would be not accurate to look only at lockdowns”, but it is wrong. Sweden has literally the same population density as Peru. Sweden has %20 +65 y/o population, Peru has %7 +65 y/o population. Sweden has 2.2 hospital beds per 1000 person, Peru has 1.6 hospital beds per 1000 person. Sweden has a median age of 41.0, Peru has a median age of 29.1. So I think that we can easily say that “Empirically, there is no correlation between lockdowns and effect of COVID-19”. It depends on so much things that we cannot even predict, there is a lot of factor which does not care So, as I said before, if we do not even know that does lockdowns work or does not, what is the purpose of it?

 

3) The COVID-19 has spread all over the world. There are cases in rural areas in Africa, Turkey, or other countries. So what will we do about that? Assume that we had a 1-year lockdown in the US, and all of the COVID-19 cases have been eradicated. What will happen next? Should we close our borders to all of the nations that still have COVID-19? Should we make a wall on Mexico and Canada border? I mean it is impossible to end COVID-19 without going full lockdown for 1 month as a whole world, and also it will give even more harm to us compared to the COVID-19. Besides that “harm argument”, going full lockdown for 1 month as a whole world is absolutely impossible.

 

CONCLUSION

In my opinion, "agnosticism" about the coronavirus situation is the best point of view for people who are not epidemiologists. Regardless of ideology, we should look for empirical evidence to decide what we will do for this situation and minimize the deaths. And, as I proved in this article, we should oppose the lockdowns. Thank you for your attention.


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