Is Quarantine Doing More Harm Than Good?

This+dataset+only+covers+up+to+early+April%2C+yet+still+recorded+an+estimate+of+15%2C400+excess+deaths+not+including+deaths+from+the+COVID-19.+Photo+credit+to+the+National+Center+for+Health+Statistics.+

This dataset only covers up to early April, yet still recorded an estimate of 15,400 excess deaths not including deaths from the COVID-19. Photo credit to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Cardie Saunders, Sports Editor

This is an opinion piece. Cardie Saunders is a junior at Mendham who writes for sports news. All of the views expressed in the following editorial are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Patriot. 

 

Quarantine and other mandatory acts have caused controversy nationwide and have brought into question whether this isolation is doing more harm than good. The coronavirus first landed in the state of Washington on January 21st, 2020. Since that time the numbers have grown exponentially and places began to shut down. It soon became mandatory to wear masks whenever being out in the public. In addition to this, many businesses were forced to shut down and millions of jobs were lost. Quarantine and isolation are doing more harm than it is helping at this point in time.  

Now, why did we do nationwide lockdown? The virus, COVID-19, has never once been recorded as being carried by a human, and once it finally did it was so contagious that it spread all across the globe in a matter of a few months. And the worst part is that there is still no specific treatment for the virus. In fact, the United States went from that first recorded case in late January to 1.4 million confirmed cases! In addition to the ludicrous amount of cases just in this country alone, 83,115 of those people and counting have died as a result of the virus. Those statistics alone seem enough to isolate everyone. However, many people around the world are ignoring the countless other negatives that quarantine is causing. 

The economy along with the financial stability of many Americans are both taking huge hits as a result of isolation. As for jobs, the unemployment rate got up to an extreme 14.7% as 20.5 million jobs were lost in April alone. As a result, many more families have fallen into poverty. This is not only devastating for each and every person who wasn’t lucky enough to keep their job but even for those still with jobs as a lot less people are willing to spend money on anything that isn’t essential. This is where the ripple effect comes into play, and soon no one will be purchasing any non-necessities. Consequently, the economy is now the worst it has been since the Great Depression!

If the economy isn’t bad enough, the health risks of isolation are very bad as well. This quarantine is harming people’s immune systems along with their mental state. Kayleigh McEnany, the White House Press Secretary, says it all at White House press briefing on March 12th:

Pullquote Photo

There are consequences to us staying closed”

— Kayleigh McEnany

“We do want to reopen this country because there are consequences that run the other way when we stay closed down as a country and I want to run through a few of those with you. A hotline run by the substance abuse and mental health services saw a 1000% increase in responses during April as we kept this country closed. Epic’s data said appointments for screening for cancer of the cervix, colon, and breasts were down 86% and 94% in March. There are real consequences to that. I carry a BRCA2 mutation, so I was someone who was regularly screened for breast cancer until I got my mastectomy and when I went to my cancer hospital for screening, I didn’t see as many people in the halls and that is quite frightening because the consequence of that is this: according to the IQVIA Institute for human data science a total of 80,000 plus diagnoses of five common cancers in the United States are projected to be missed or delayed during the three-month period of early March to early June which is why this president has always said go to your doctor do your screenings there’s a way to safely do this if you feel chest pain go to your doctor we can’t scare people from going to hospitals it’s a consequence of staying closed though and people are scared. They’re scared to even go to their doctor and there are consequences for that. And finally, I would just point out a recent CNN article from Friday noted a National Public Health Group that warned as many as 75,000 Americans could die because of drug or alcohol misuse and suicide as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. So there are consequences to us staying closed and its why Apes medical group came out with a statement. Eight medical groups noted concerns that some people with symptoms of heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest are avoiding hospitals”

 

These are just a few of the health risks quarantine and isolation can and has already brought to society. Psychologists and physicians all around the world have provided their thoughts on how isolation can impact someone’s mental state. In fact, Alex Choucker, a physician-researcher who studies stress immunology at the University of Munich states, “The pure fact of being confined affects the body. If you change your environment in a quite extreme way, it is changing you”. He even explained how the participants of a spaceflight mission simulation “experienced changes to their sleep, changes to their immune, endocrine, and neurocognitive systems, and alterations to their metabolisms” in just three months! As of today on March 14th, it has been almost two months since quarantine has begun, so continuing this quarantine could result in similar consequences to the people who participated in the simulation Chouker explained to some extent. 

Although there are consequences to both sides of the questions and that there truly isn’t one fully correct answer, from the research that I have done, I believe it is in the best interest of the country to open back as much as possible.