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Lockdowns – three years on

Three years ago, on 16th March 2020, we entered into an effective lockdown. A day before, on 15th March 2020, our University sent out the notice:

The pandemic started.

We will continue to analyse the pros and cons of the way in which we attempted to stop the pandemic.

But, it is clear to me that lockdowns – and other control measures implemented then and later – significantly reduced the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases.

Although the “zero Covid” approach later turned out to be a mirage, the lockdowns allowed us to wait until vaccination became possible.

So, the “benefit” side of the equation is clear (at least to me).

What is not clear is the “costs” side. Although the total impact of the lockdowns is still a matter of controversy, the massive damage to the economy and society and to all of us individually is without a doubt.

But, one thing that seems to be missing in the discussion is the question why the negative impact was so strong.

While the popular line is that lockdowns have directly caused problems, I think they also exposed cracks in society’s ability to deal with disasters.

Does the line “children were forced to be in houses where they were at risk of abuse” tell us more about society’s ills than about lockdowns?

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