Letter to the editor: Lockdown is best medicine
In three months, we will celebrate our most uniquely American holiday, Thanksgiving. I hope that we will find ourselves thankful for having weathered the worst of the coronavirus storm together, anticipating a number of vaccines, and seeing our economy slowly come back to life. Yet if we choose to ignore the experts and listen to those who would put their own self-interest ahead of the public good, Thanksgiving could be a grim symbol of our folly.
Dr. Osterholm (director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota) and Mr. Kashkari (president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis), wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times on Aug. 7. They ask why our death toll from coronavirus is so high compared with the rest of the world (we have a disproportionate 23% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths but only 4% of the world population). They conclude that “we gave up on our lockdown efforts to control virus transmission well before the virus was under control.” Other countries were more patient with their lockdowns and are now healthier and stronger economically.
They recommend that we commit to a “strict and comprehensive” lockdown again for up to six weeks. They believe that this is the only path to a healthy population and renewed economy. This will take sacrifice, but may be the only realistic path to a joyful Thanksgiving that we can celebrate with our families, whether virtually or in person.
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