In this April 9, 2021 editorial by the Wall Street Journal, we discover the empirical data showing that lockdowns have devastated economies, with those states with longer lockdown policies most affected. According to the authors, the data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) showed that “states that allowed businesses to reopen sooner, and maintained fewer restrictions for the rest of the year, recovered by year-end”.
Editor’s Note: The fact that lockdowns has devastating impact for economies has been very clear since last year. And while the rest of the world scrambles to find solutions so they can reopen their countries even without the vaccines, the Philippine government continues to use lockdowns as the major solution to our COVID woes. Even today, the National Capital Region is under the second strictest quarantine category.
Due to our country’s failure to understand the devastating impacts of lockdowns, our economy has recorded its worst performance in 2020. And though the increase in mobility in the early part of 2021 has enabled some economic sectors to recover, there is a threat of further collapse if the government does not lift its lockdown policy soon. In a statement to the press last April 5, 2021, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said, “the country cannot afford to place areas under ECQ [enhanced community quarantine, the strictest lockdown category] anymore, saying tourism has already been ‘seriously damaged'”.https://news.tv5.com.ph/breaking/read/seriously-damaged-philippines-cant-afford-another-week-of-ecq-warns-dti
Vaccines cannot help us now [The supply is not enough, people are hesitant, and they don’t prevent infection and hence, won’t cause cases to decrease, see Fauci: Early COVID-19 vaccines will only prevent symptoms, not block infection]. The question of “money vs. life” can’t really be used in the Philippines. In a resource-deprived country like ours, money and life are interchangeable. Without economic activity, families will die of hunger.
Aside from its economic impact, the truth is that there is no such thing as a “science” for lockdowns. There is no proof that lockdowns work [we have a LOT of articles on this website showing this, see article category Is A Lockdown Necessary?] Why would governments still use this strategy when its unintended consequences can lead to more problems?
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