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'Greatly Harmed'



The most striking aspect of the letters that responded to mine was their emphasis on detached analysis and rationalizing, while ignoring my central point: that lockdown measures have greatly harmed our community (Mailbox, Jan. 27).

Before COVID-19 there was a wide consensus that asymptomatic spread was insignificant, and hence masking and quarantining the healthy was not employed. Shutting down small businesses was another draconian measure rolled out just for COVID.

Lockdown measures have had a predictably catastrophic effect on people's mental and physical health. People are highly social beings. Social bonds, face-to-face contact and touch are necessary for our health and well being. Solitary confinement is torture. Masking is dehumanizing and encourages us to fear one another. It is especially cruel and damaging to mask children. Economically, we have experienced the largest transfer of wealth, from the middle class to the wealthiest, in our history.

For two years, Public Health and the NCJ have hyper-focused on COVID. Simultaneously, they've ignored the skyrocketing increase in depression and anxiety, domestic abuse, food insecurity, the deaths of despair and all the myriad ways our lives were degraded by lockdown measures. In the world of Public Health and the NCJ, only COVID cases and casualties deserve our attention or concern. Nothing else and no one else matters to them. They've promoted twisted policies that have made everyone more vulnerable.

Overriding common practices, common sense and our lived experience in favor of blind obedience to radical dictates from authority figures, has devastated our community, our country and much of the world. If we are to recover from this onslaught, connecting with each other, face to face, in the real world, is essential.

Amy Gustin, Ettersburg

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