Murray and Carol 1976

Murray's Blog 2021

Occasional reflections on the Journey...

January 26, 2021

What is the goal-post for which we lockdown?

I think Preston Manning is leading in a good direction when he calls the Canadian Minister of Justice to:

"specify when these supposedly "temporary" measures will end, and on what basis (to say that lockdown measures will be lifted when the number of "cases" is "low enough" is not a satisfactory criterion and only generates massive uncertainty among workers, employers and investors)."-  (Jan 26, 2021 National Post)

Manning provides a badly needed call to government to define the goal post. Is the goal "under 100 deaths per month directly related to covid"? Is it "5% empty hospital beds"? What we are aiming at makes all the difference to policies deemed necessary to reach the goal.

When lockdowns were initiated the government stated goal was not to "overwhelm our hospitals". When this goal was reached no replacement goal was stated, though lockdown continued and by inference the new unstated goal seems to be "zero cases," a goal which is not considered for opioid deaths, flu deaths, cancer deaths, smoking deaths, human trafficking, child pornography, homelessness, traffic deaths, suicides, business failures due to covid restrictions, the mental health crisis produced by indefinite lockdowns, or a host of other factors affecting public health.

"Safety" is too general. Safety can only be an adequate goal when 1.) the goal posts are clearly defined 2.) response to the concern is demonstrated appropriately weighted in comparison to other safety concerns and 3.) when the solution is demonstrated not to cause more harm than the problem.

Recognizing no one can do everything, it vital for government to choose clear goals focusing on problems causing the greatest harm. What is that problem and what is the goal exactly? Under what circumstances will lockdowns end?