On its one year anniversary, it would be irresponsible not to look at the effectiveness of the COVID-19 lockdown. Florida and California vividly demonstrate that the answer is “completely ineffective”: the two states have had similar outcomes to very different approaches, making it clear that lockdowns did not and do not work to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19.
What about Rhode Island? Well, we locked down. And we have the third highest COVID-19 deaths nationally.
Lockdowns, even if they worked exactly as hoped, were never a good solution because of the enormous public health and other consequences they inflict. One year later, it is clear, as they do not achieve even their hoped-for goal, that they are entirely destructive with zero public health benefit.
Now, let’s look at where Rhode Island stands on the original reason for a lockdown: two weeks to flatten the curve and not overwhelm hospitals. Below is the trend of Rhode Island’s hospitalizations; specifically, Column U, “Currently Hospitalized” of this sheet:
4/28/2020: 375 (Spring, 2020 peak)
By this original goalpost, Rhode Island can open up fully, now. (Please stop with the agonizing and ineffective baby steps.) More to the point, the state never needs to lock down again for this (or any) reason. This is because, to her credit, former Governor Gina Raimondo set up COVID-19 field hospitals. While they were recently shut down because COVID-19 cases have dropped markedly, they will remain in place in the event of a surge.
The evidence and observed science one year into COVID-19 lockdowns is blaring and indisputable: they do not work. All states can and should open up immediately, fully, without restrictions – including nursing homes with reasonable protections. Refusing to do so is to deny the plain evidence and prolong the needless suffering and very serious health and other consequences of lockdowns.