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The Price of Panic
“Those who do not weep, do not see.”
— Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

In 2019, the coronavirus family, which has been causing respiratory disease in millions of humans worldwide every year for millennia, welcomed a new member. The disease it causes, COVID-19, proved to be no worse than seasonal flu in fairly healthy people under 70 but posed a more serious threat to older people or those made vulnerable by serious pre-existing conditions. The difference in mortality risk is vast, with the elderly at 1,000 times more risk than the young.

Rather than focusing protective measures on the people at heightened risk of illness, governments around the world imposed and continue to impose severe restrictions on their entire population. With routine medical care disrupted, businesses shuttered, curfews imposed, travel restricted, socialization criminalized, we are causing a devastating amount of harm.

The negative effects of lockdown are too often dismissed as small sacrifices, necessary to keep a highly deadly disease from spreading. These sacrifices are, in fact, neither necessary nor small, and the disease is only a threat to a minority of the population that can be protected without lockdowns. Sometimes, when major harms become hard to ignore, they are lamented as further damage caused by Covid, even though it is our panic-driven measures that are to blame. This is an effort to bring focus to the magnitude of suffering taking place around us because of lockdowns.

Last updated: Nov 29, 2020



Hunger & Poverty
france 24
”Suffering and starving”: In Nigeria, citizens raid warehouse full of undistributed aid
Hundreds of people descended on a warehouse containing food and palliative relief supplies in the central Nigerian town of Jos on October 24 and 25. Amid escalating social unrest in Nigeria’s #EndSARS police brutality protests, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and increasing economic insecurity, citizens say that the government should have already distributed these provisions.
ap news
Virus-linked hunger tied to 10,000 child deaths each month
All around the world, the coronavirus and its restrictions are pushing already hungry communities over the edge, cutting off meager farms from markets and isolating villages from food and medical aid.
british herald
Second Lockdown Forces Myanmar’s Slum Dwellers To Hunt For Rats And Reptiles To Stave Off Hunger
The World Bank warned in September that poverty in the country is slated to rise for the first time in two decades because of the pandemic and close to 38 million are expected to be pushed into poverty.
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Death From Other Diseases
the daily wire
New CDC Numbers Show Lockdown’s Deadly Toll On Young People
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed Wednesday that young adults aged 25-44 years saw the largest increase in “excess” deaths from previous years, a stunning 26.5% jump. 
new york times
“The Biggest Monster” Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus.
Tuberculosis kills 1.5 million people each year. Lockdowns and supply-chain disruptions threaten progress against the disease as well as H.I.V. and malaria.
nature
Stillbirth rate rises dramatically during pandemic
“What we’ve done is cause an unintended spike in stillbirth while trying to protect [pregnant women] from COVID-19,” says Jane Warland, a specialist in midwifery at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.
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Harm to Children
usa today
“People don’t want to talk about it,” but reports of kids being exploited online have spiked amid coronavirus pandemic
Online child abuse and exploitation, already one of the biggest and growing crime challenges nationally, has spiked as the pandemic has forced more people indoors with abusers and children spending more time on the internet. 
the washington post
In D.C., achievement gap widens, early literacy progress declines during pandemic, data show
The achievement gap between young White students and students of color in the District has widened during the pandemic while the number of students reaching early literacy benchmarks has declined since schools shut down in March, according to data released by D.C. Public Schools.
cnn
The pandemic has created a second crisis in India — the rise of child trafficking
“Children have never faced such crisis,” said 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi, whose organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement) works to protect vulnerable children. “This is not simply the health crisis or economic crisis. This is the crisis of justice, of humanity, of childhood, of the future of an entire generation.”
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Anxiety, Depression & Suicides
cnn  JUST ADDED
In Japan, more people died from suicide last month than from Covid in all of 2020
Experts have warned that the pandemic could lead to a mental health crisis. Mass unemployment, social isolation, and anxiety are taking their toll on people globally.
cnbc
More than 7 in 10 Gen-Zers report symptoms of depression during pandemic, survey finds
From increased stress and anxiety to rising levels of loneliness, the mental health consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic are wide-sweeping. A new survey from the American Psychological Association points to the age group that’s been hit hardest: Gen-Z.
forbes
The Pandemic Has Caused An Increase In Anxiety, Stress, Depression And Suicides
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs. They’ve watched helplessly as their meager savings dwindled away, as they were confined to their homes—prohibited from interacting with friends, attending church, temple or music and sporting events due to restrictions enacted in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This resulted in a profound impact on the mental health and emotional well-being of people—leading to a significant increase in cases of anxiety, depression and deaths by suicide.
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Oppression
eu observer
Hungary plans gay adoption ban, amid second corona wave
The Hatter rights group said the legislation practically means a ban on gay adoption, which until now has been possible if one partner applied as a single person. […] The rights group said in a statement that the timing is no coincidence, as Covid-19 measures prevent any demonstration.
unhcr
amnesty international
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