More Shutdowns Will Cause More Harm Than Good


Andrew Prokop , Managing Editor

Around the country and abroad, COVID cases continue to rise. Winter has brought a new surge of cases with the usual cold weather. As congress moves toward approval of a new stimulus bill, the idea of lockdowns as part of the Biden COVID plan has become a topic of conversation once again.  

While the first lockdown did not completely eradicate the virus, the lockdown did help slow the virus spread to a much more manageable pace and allowed us to not only learn but begin to fast track developing vaccines. President Trump, despite a few controversial decisions throughout the pandemic, did do one thing very well. He removed the red tape around the vaccine development. Just under a year after COVID took the United States by storm, we have vaccines on the verge of mass distribution with estimates of late December to early January.  

With the addition of a new stimulus bill, this timeline has many wondering if we should just wait out the last month or so of this virus through a lockdown. The truth is that while it may not be world-ending to have another lockdown, the decision will do more harm than good.  

Many health and mental problems arise due to isolation. Even with various online social activities, being alone is dangerous, and those who are not alone during lockdown might face more challenges. Child abuse and domestic violence have already seen large spikes due to the amount of time forced together, especially in troubled homes. When there are small problems at home, being forced to be together and face those problems can often cause those small problems to turn into terrible situations. The spikes in child abuse have been estimated, especially with reports sourcing from teachers. Students that come to school with marks or feel comfortable to confide in a teacher/advisor is the primary source of child abuse reports, but with remote learning, many of these warning signs will go unnoticed. While many individuals do not have these exact problems, most will still suffer due to depression and anxiety, some of which will turn lethal. 

Economically, many businesses that have made drastic changes to fit COVID requirements, especially in the restaurant business, are operating on such small margins while holding out for the eventual vaccine. These businesses will find another round of lockdowns as the figurative last straw that broke the camel’s back, specifically in northern climates where outdoor solutions will become useless as winter’s cold grip takes over. Restaurants forced to operate at 25% or lower capacity will find it challenging to stay open on takeout and delivery alone as customers begin to shelter at home again. Local retailers will go out of business trying to compete with online sellers like Amazon and Walmart. This is just the beginning as the economic impact cannot be predicted, especially when landlords and banks collect rent and mortgages again. Although these lockdowns might not be world ending to everyone, we have to wonder whether or not it is worth the cost of many people’s livelihoods to close down again this winter. Especially with the amount we have learned about the virus and its transmission, there is no justifiable reason to put another lockdown in place.