Covid-19 Pandemic: A Matter of Paradoxical Logic

Posted by: on Jul 6, 2020 | No Comments

We have been in lockdown for 100 days. That’s a third of the total year already. Neither do I understand the logic of ordering the lockdown nor the decision to reopen. Yes, the situation is bad and the country faces an unprecedented challenge. On one hand, there are growing infections. On the other hand, the economy is being hammered. We needed to choose the lesser of the two evils. Have we actually done that? Or have we just blindly followed other countries in calling for a complete lockdown?

What We’ve Been Told Vs Reality

There are some things we have been told, which we have accepted and moved on (or rather paused everything). Is that the reality?

What we’ve heard over and over again is that the lockdown is necessary to curb the infections. The reality is that you cannot curb the infections. The lockdown has just delayed the infections… at great cost to the economy.

The coronavirus is highly risky for the elderly. But India has a very favorable age distribution. More than 65% of our population is below the age of 35 years. This means that people will get infected and they will recover. People who are 65 years or older are highly vulnerable and they should be protected. But that’s less than 10% of the Indian population. Why lockdown 1.3 billion people? To protect the elderly, we have risked the lives of our working population, because death due to job losses, poverty and starvation are undoubtedly the aftermath of the lockdown.

Was the lockdown ordered to save lives? What about the deaths of migrant laborers being forced to return to their villages? Was that just collateral damage? These were all younger population who would probably have recovered if infected.

With the lockdown, we have actually prevented herd immunity from being built. We have allowed the virus to become stronger and our immune systems to get more vulnerable. That’s the reason the second wave of infections is already underway.

Moreover, the Indian immune system is far stronger than of people in other countries. Given our love for street food or drinking unbottled water have made our immunity stronger. Added to that is the kind of food we eat, rich in spices that are known for their curative abilities. India didn’t need to come to a grinding halt because of the covid-19 infection. Our body could have handled it.

We’ve also heard horror stories of hospitals not having enough beds for patients and inadequate medical staff. This has kept us scared and locked up in our homes. Why are we even going to the hospital? Do they have a cure? Instead, all it needs is self-quarantine for two weeks. Take your medication on time and eat well to regain your strength. Unless someone needs a ventilator, there is no benefit of visiting the hospital.

Among the absurd decisions taken was schools and colleges to be the first to close, while children and teenagers have the best immune systems.

Will the lockdown save lives? The economic downturn spells death for many more people than the coronavirus toll.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that coercion never bodes well for growth. The lockdown has already caused enough damage. The path to recovery needs governments to nurture the right environment. Read about what the government can do to support economic growth.

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