“We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation,” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University Medical School, told Newsweek.
COVID-19 lockdowns, Dr. Bhattacharya wrote, are the “biggest public health mistake we’ve ever made…The harm to people is catastrophic.”
Forcing students to learn virtually is a disproportionate challenge to the least advantaged. According to Reason Foundation Corey A. DeAngelis, there are higher amounts of screen time for many students from working families. “This is hitting the least advantaged in the community the hardest, particularly because the most advantaged have access to in-person alternatives or good versions of remote virtual learning at home or even have more ability to cover the costs associated with home-based education.”
Other concerns … were focused on big tech companies’ exploitation of addictive and sometimes inappropriate features such as likes, engagement, scrolling, autoplay, and engineering to encourage kids to stay attached or even sometimes dependent on digital devices, isolating them and depriving them of the social interactions that are required for their mental health and growth.
James Freeman in the WSJ cites Newsweek on Dr. Bhattacharya. Dr. B. co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration, a petition that calls for the end of COVID-19 lockdowns, claiming that they are “producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”
At the same time, [lockdowns] have not served to control the epidemic in the places where they have been most vigorously imposed. In the US, they have – at best – protected the “non-essential” class from COVID, while exposing the essential working class to the disease. The lockdowns are trickle down epidemiology.
Instead of focusing on the protection of the elderly and those with particular vulnerabilities, credentialed government experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci continued to suggest school closures and broad limits on business activity as appropriate responses in areas where the virus was spreading.
Yet as the country was locking down last spring, Dr. Fauci describedthe impact on Americans as “inconvenient” and later acknowledgedthat he did not do cost-benefit analysis and really had no idea what the consequences were for students: “I don’t have a good explanation, or solution to the problem of what happens when you close schools, and it triggers a cascade of events that could have some harmful circumstances.”
Dr. Fauci told NPR last March that a vaccine would not be available for “at least a year to a year and a half – at best.”
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