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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 about as deadly as the seasonal flu in healthy, relatively young people 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, and socialization criminalized, a devastating amount of harm is being caused.

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. The disease is a serious threat to a minority of the population that can be protected without lockdowns. All too often, when major harms become hard to ignore, they are lamented as damage caused by COVID-19 itself, 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: March 21, 2021



Hunger & Poverty
new york times  JUST ADDED
“I Have No Money for Food”: Among the Young, Hunger Is Rising
As the pandemic begins its second year, humanitarian organizations in Europe are warning of an alarming rise in food insecurity among young people, after a steady stream of campus closings, job cuts and layoffs in their families.
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.
bbc  JUST ADDED
Covid-19 disruptions killed 228,000 children in South Asia, says UN report
The report […] estimates that there have been 228,000 additional deaths of children under five in these six countries due to crucial services, ranging from nutrition benefits to immunisation, being halted.
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Anxiety, Depression & Suicides
cnn
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
obct  JUST ADDED
Armenia: domestic violence and the pandemic, houses are a prison
“While addressing the healthcare emergency, states must not forget to protect the right of women and children to live without violence. It is necessary to take proper measures to ensure their safety when families are in isolation”, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger said.
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
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