Lockdowns have been one of the most used measures at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as many countries tried to keep the number of cases to a minimum. However, citizens and several experts criticized the measure in most cases.
A group of more than 6,000 health experts has argued that lockdowns come with more dangers than benefits, as they can expose citizens to physical and mental issues as well as compromise other aspects of society. While infected patients should be isolated, healthy people should be able to move freely.
Known under the name of the Great Barrington Declaration, the movement has also shared an open letter with the same name, which includes strategies and tips that could be used to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among communities.
By implementing lockdown-style policies until a usable vaccine is created, governments would hurt a large number of people in the long run. For example, patients diagnosed with heart disease and cancer will lose access to specialized treatment, leading to worse symptoms and a lower chance of recovery. Lower childhood vaccination rates could also lead to other health consequences.
As more people become infected and recover, the overall immunity of the population continues to grow, which means that the risk of becoming infected starts to decrease. The declaration also underlines a number of actions that could be employed to protect vulnerable people.
Care-takers should be tested more often to prevent the spread of the virus to old people. Senior citizens who live at home could receive deliveries of groceries and other goods to minimize exposure. Essential hygiene measures should also be practiced by everyone, and washing hands is a must.
Despite the good intentions besides the declarations, there are some health experts who aren’t impressed, noting that the potential of herd immunity isn’t certain.