I am concerned that our government’s lockdown approach and the subsequent economic hardship inflicted on our people will cost more lives than it can save. I realise this is a controversial statement in a context where people are very fearful and understandably concerned about their health and the wellbeing of their families. An effective government must make difficult decisions that involve trade-offs and cost-benefit analysis. I am not saying we should trade lives for economic growth; I am saying we must consider how we can save as many lives as possible and give better lives to as many South Africans as possible with our limited resources.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s initial lockdown decision was justified to buy time in order to gather our health resources and prepare our hospitals. It was never meant to be a strategy to eliminate the COVID-19 virus – this is an impossibility. The idea behind lockdown is that the same number of people get ill, but the infections are spread over a longer time in an effort not to overwhelm the health system. Our government’s lockdown strategy has morphed into something else entirely.
As new information emerges, it seems the virus mortality rate is substantially less than many feared, and many of the more alarmist predictions that led to lockdowns across the globe have proven to be flawed. The government must absorb this information, particularly given the youthful South African population.
Prof. Wittkowski makes clear that the modeling used by the "experts" advising the government not only had to be revised several times, but is fundamentally flawed. More importantly, social distancing and lockdown are not solutions for combatting a virus. They are especially ineffective, when they are implemented when large parts of society have built immunity. Instead of locking down a country and enforcing social-distancing across society, quarantining and protection should have been focused on the vulnerable like the elderly.
Easter represents a time of hope for many around the world.
You may feel isolated and lonely due to the lockdown, but you are not alone.
Bokkies, we will get through this difficult time!