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Demosthenes's avatar

Is it too late for lockdowns to be effective?

Asked by Demosthenes (13002points) October 31st, 2020

The countries that seem to have entirely stopped the spread of the virus, like Australia and South Korea, had strict lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic when it was easier to contain. Australia has now had days with 0 new cases, a far cry from the U.S. where there are thousands of new cases every day.

Lockdowns here seem to be a non-stop back-and-forth between closing and re-opening, the moment cases rise everything closes down again, then re-opens when things calm, then there’s a new rise and everything closes down again. How long will this back-and-forth go on? Can we actually reach a state of 0 new cases like Australia has without a vaccine?

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8 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s too late here. With Trump in the saddle, we never stood a chance. Lockdown anyway. I still would prefer to be the last one to die.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I’ll stay at home and watch the Pence Rally; 5 miles from my house with “masks optional” and no social distancing. 90% didn’t have masks on.

I may have things delivered and stop shopping myself for a two or three weeks.


SQUEEKY2's avatar

No the states can not reach 0 new cases with Trump and Fright wingers in the drivers seat.
I mean they post tons of links saying masks don’t work,THE SCIENCE says masks don’t work, but all our Canadian health officers say a combination of masks PLUS social distancing does slow it down.
Fright wingers don’t want to do anything at slowing down the spread,they got that heard immunity idea planted very firmly in their dark minds,and they could care less who dies , to get there.

longgone's avatar

Not a virologist, but I don’t see how it could be too late.

This virus lives on human interaction. If it were possible to have no contact between people at all in a given country, the virus would die by the time those suffering right now are through being infectious. It might live on surfaces briefly, but that seems to be negligible for transmission. To be safe, you could extend the lockdown for a couple of additional days.

Now, of course it won’t ever be possible to pause all human contact. Older people have to be taken care of. Kids need their parents. Ambulances and hospitals can’t take a break. With families, it’s just maths. The household needs to stay separate from others until everyone in it would mathematically be through with the infection. I’m saying “would” because of asymptomatic carriers.

For essential workers, lockdowns do need to be supplemented by testing and all the precautions we’re currently taking.

I think that the problem, so far, has been timing and consistency. Timing in that it makes no sense to put a region under lockdown, but then allow free travel between its neighbor cities a few weeks later. You’ve just put the local population under extreme stress – for nothing.

Consistency in that there’d be ways to make lockdowns less traumatic and more effective. Grocery delivery, for example, is much safer than everyone congregating at the store. Kids shouldn’t have to slog through their ordinary schoolwork during lockdowns, but they do need emotional support and engaging projects that they, themselves, consider fun. Adults who are struggling also need support.

I think what’s needed is a giant volunteer effort and a lot of difficult decisions from the people in charge. I don’t think that giving up is an option.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@longgone Too late ! If we don’t – - – - Shutdown like England !

Everybody EVERYBODY ! ! would have to stay in place for ten to fourteen days to stop the spread.

My area has a 6.7% positive rate for tests and others have 20% or more ! Virus testing. It is not dropping.

New cases of COVID-19, the greatest single-day increase of the pandemic so far last week ! !

kritiper's avatar

No. Anytime is a good time to get started.

Kyris's avatar

Nope, it’s never too late to get started.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t see why it would be too late. Every time you lock down you are going to hamper the spread of the virus. England is locking down again for a month. Some state is locking down some parts of the state I think? I don’t remember which one. They are closing bars and salons again, I guess it is a partial lock down.

I would much rather not lockdown and just people mask up and distance, and simply not go out as much without some government order that a business cannot be open. If I thought we could really lock down and everyone stay home for 3 weeks for real, and get rid of the virus I would be on board with that. but America won’t do it in a very strict way and people will still try to defy it. The country is too far gone, the crazies are in too great a number. I have seven people with covid in a cluster on my friends block and now two of them have had to be hospitalized, one is back home, and they all still are Trumpers and no maskers.

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