Is Another Lockdown Looming?

Is Another Lockdown Looming?

( – During the 2020 general election, presidential Democratic nominee Joe Biden said if the scientists told him another lockdown was needed, he would heed their advice. Over the last week, two advisers to the potential president-elect’s coronavirus taskforce called for strict lockdowns to control COVID-19. Based on Biden’s statement and his new task force member’s public comments, a harsh shutdown may be likely in a new administration.

Last week, the US reported more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases. That was a milestone. On Wednesday, November 11, the CDC reported 134,383 new cases, setting another record. While death rates remain lower than during the spring, they have ticked up slightly since the summer. However, the percentage of deaths to cases has dropped significantly.

Echoing Biden’s Democratic nominee speech last August, Dr. Zeke Emanuel and Dr. Michael Osterholm say the United States is headed for dark days until a vaccine is widely available.

What Is the Newest Lockdown Recommendation?

Dr. Osterholm is the Director of the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Earlier this week, he claimed that the country is headed for “COVID hell” as cases rose due to fatigue over wearing masks and social distancing. The director also said as people head indoors due to the colder weather, the virus spreads more easily.

According to Osterholm, a nationwide shutdown would drive down case numbers and hospitalizations. He claims the government could afford to cover all wages, lost wages, and losses for businesses and local governments for four to six weeks.

Have Lockdowns Worked?

Over an extremely short term, lockdowns had the effect of temporarily driving down COVID-19 cases. However, they didn’t come without consequences. At one point, nearly 40 million people were unemployed, business bankruptcies were at all-time highs, and people forecasted to hit bankruptcy and lose their homes were at numbers that well exceeded the 2008 Great Recession. Plus, state and local government tax receipts dropped to unfathomable levels.

If the country is locked down again, it could dash the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans who started to rebuild their lives after the spring shutdowns. America’s economic growth over the last few months could crash, and all the government could do is put a band-aid on the problems it created.

There are also societal problems that lockdowns cause. During the spring shutdown, alcohol consumption increased by an estimated 55% in the third week of March and sustained those levels through spring. Domestic violence and child abuse rose during the quarantine, and at-risk-people couldn’t get medical care. Some fear that another shutdown could cause an increase in suicides and other catastrophic issues related to social isolation.

Life is full of risks, and they cannot be avoided. As President Donald Trump said in April, the cure can’t be worse than the disease.

What will happen if America shutdowns again?

Will Americans accept it?

Stay tuned. This is a developing story.

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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