Dr. Reed Spaulding explains the negative consequences of heavy handed government during the response to COVID-19. He writes (abridged):
There will be much still to learn when COVID-19 has passed.
Books will certainly be written questioning the knee-jerk authoritarian response from most governments. Opinions championing a more modest approach to future pandemics are already emerging, even as this one continues to smolder. Dr. Michael Ryan, the WHO’s executive director for health emergencies, recently praised the Swedish government’s response, which largely resisted wide-scale shutdowns. Calm, rational heads will increasingly wonder if this situation should have been handled differently.
The financial devastation from forced lockdown will likely outlast the pandemic itself. While unfortunate (to put it mildly), most have argued that it has been necessary.
The pandemic has negatively impacted oncology services worldwide.
Elective screening procedures (colonoscopies, mammograms, etc.) have been cancelled by government order. Naturally, this has led to a decrease in new cancer diagnoses. Obviously, new cancers haven’t stopped arising, but thousands of them have been neglected over the past few months. A study from the University College London and the Health Data Research Hub for Cancer reports that in England and Northern Ireland, admissions for chemotherapy have fallen 45–66 percent and urgent referrals for early cancer diagnosis are down 70–89 percent, compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.
Out of supposed necessity, heads of state in the U.S. and abroad have admittedly been picking winners and losers on the economic front.
Will they ever admit that, indirectly, they have been choosing winners and losers on the health-care front, as well?. In fact, some peoples’ economic and physical health are being greatly harmed by the government’s heavy hand during this time.
The exact amount and scope of the collateral damage will only be known in hindsight. Unfortunately, the unintended consequences will be significant. With government serving as referee, this game may end up with more losers than winners.