Growing Civil Dissent to Lockdown Rules | Using Reason
- May 22, 2020 - Coronavirus Liability,
We’re in our 10th week of the Coronavirus lockdown rules. Civil dissent is growing over the length and breadth of the lockdown.
At their worst, the lockdowns “forcefully reduce the income of people at low risk, while simultaneously increasing virus exposure for those at high risk.” Those states that forced the discharge of hospital patients to nursing homes resulted in widespread deaths
Everyday life restrictions have impoverished millions of people, while America’s rich are at little risk of poverty. In the words of Peggy Noonan,
“Our news professionals the past three months have made plenty of room for medical and professionals warning of the illness. Good, we needed it, it was news. They are not now paying an equal degree of sympathetic attention to those living the economic story …”
Politicians attack those who are pushing back. The Pennsylvania governor called them “cowards.” Michigan’s governor called them “racist and misogynistic.” She says that the entire movement is “political.” People who are “in economic distress and worry that the foundations of their lives are being swept away” are hardly the tools of local Democrat or Republican political bosses.
Again, giving credit to Peggy Noonan:
“The working-class people who are pushing back have had harder lives than those now determining their fate. They haven’t had familial or economic ease. No one sent them to Yale. They often come from considerable family dysfunction. This has left them tougher or harder, you choose the word.”
And, it is not only the working-class people who are pushing back. The Catholic Bishops of Minnesota along with many other religious leaders are dissenting from the Minnesota governor’s directive that was ending the stay-at-home order allowing more commerce but prohibiting religious gatherings of more than ten people. The Bishops observe that the governor’s order prohibits a gathering of “11 people in a Cathedral with a seating capacity of several thousand defies reason.”
Defies reason, that’s a good way to put it.
Mayors and governors are being reminded that there is no “pandemic exception” to the U.S Constitution. Some are also being cautioned by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division that civil-rights protections forbid favoring secular over religious activities. A letter to the White House from more than 600 doctors from around the country calls the shutdown a “mass casualty incident.” Their letter goes on to say:
“The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.”
Real Clear Politics just published an article titled “How Fear, Groupthink Drove Unnecessary Global Lockdowns.” The article is worth reading.
“In the face of a novel virus threat, China clamped down on its citizens. Academics used faulty information to build faulty models. Leaders relied on these faulty models. Dissenting views were suppressed. The media flamed fears and the world panicked.
That is the story of what may eventually be known as one of the biggest medical and economic blunders of all time. The collective failure of every Western nation, except one, to question groupthink will surely be studied by economists, doctors, and psychologists for decades to come.
To put things in perspective, the virus is now known to have an infection fatality rate for most people under 65 that is no more dangerous than driving 13 to 101 miles per day. Even by conservative estimates, the odds of COVID-19 death are roughly in line with existing baseline odds of dying in any given year.”
And, a good closing summary, also from Real Clear Politics, is:
“A much more rational strategy would have been to lock down nursing homes and let young healthy people out to build immunity. Instead we did the opposite, we forced nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients and locked down young people.”
We need to rethink this. Using our reason for constructive solutions is what we all should be doing – not labeling those who disagree with us as villains. The blame game is not very helpful. Neither is groupthink. People’s lives and well-being are at stake – and in more ways than one.
We now have new information we didn’t have months ago at the beginning of the crisis, when everyone was understandably afraid. But today, it’s time to move forward using reason, compassion and good old-fashioned common sense.