Something must be conveyed to short-sighted government officials who continue to confine Americans to their homes with extended lockdown orders to mitigate COVID-19: To date, they have destroyed over 30 million jobs, decimated businesses and entire industries and violated a basic human right — freedom.
Not to mention all our other rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution that are being flagrantly violated by power-thirsty governors and other officials in the name of containing the spread of the coronavirus. Our right to worship, assemble and the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness — and so much more — have all been tossed out the window.
However justified — or not, depending on who you ask — the reality is that the lockdown means urgent care medical facilities in Massachusetts and elsewhere aren’t seeing patients. Millions of Americans aren’t going to doctor or having elective surgeries performed. But that’s not all. An alarming and growing list of hospitals throughout the country have laid off ten of thousands of health care workers or closed their doors for good — all of which comes at a hefty price. And we’re not just talking about the wreckage it’s caused to the economy or the trillions the lockdown is costing taxpayers and future generations by way of stimulus measures lawmakers have implemented to remedy the crisis such as the Payroll Protection Act.
That price includes the suicides that aren’t being reported and the spikes in depression, anxiety and other mental health issues effecting so many. Have our leaders in Washington and local representatives forgotten that 1 in 5 Americans suffered from mental illness — before COVID-19 reared its ugly head?
What’s the impact now that the entire country has been isolated in our homes or small apartments for months now, cut off from society, religious institutions and our entire way of life?
Not to mention the effect the loss of employment, and the resulting financial stress, is having on millions. This week, the number of jobless claims increased by 3.84 million, bringing the unemployment tally to a whopping 30.3 million, which experts say is an undercount. “The Economic Policy Institute earlier this week estimated that the current claims level probably undercounts by as much as 12 million those who are eligible for benefits but not getting them due to the inability to file or other roadblocks,” reports CNBC.
But perhaps even more troubling are the untold numbers of children facing abusive at home and the many women facing domestic violence whose stories aren’t being told. What are the increases in those incidents? What’s the surge in drug and alcohol abuse amongst the mainstream or the impact the extended lockdowns are having on all Americans who aren’t getting cancer screenings or other critical health and wellness checkups?
The closure of the economy and prolonged #StayAtHome orders means women across the U.S. aren’t getting mammograms or breast checkups. Same with countless others who aren’t getting colonoscopies and other important medical tests, which could mean delayed responses to advanced stage cancer, for example, that, if caught earlier, could’ve saved lives.
Translation: A life saved today from getting the coronavirus — justifying the quarantine — will be another life lost tomorrow to advanced cancer or another deadly disease.
This imparts an important societal question: Who gets to choose whose life is more important? Those who are vulnerable to the coronavirus and must be protected from it today or the rest of the population who might get sick — or die — from other unbeknownst diseases not being detected now?
As you can see, government officials and the health “experts” advising them are picking winners and losers in this game called life.
Which begs the question: Why are we giving big government and others the almighty power to make these life and death decisions?
Citizens ought to be asking this before another American dies or gets gravely ill from a non-COVID-related disease that could’ve been prevented.
Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.