The Second Round of Lockdowns Won’t Be As Easy as the First
The pressure is already mounting for state and local governments to move again toward coerced stay at home orders and mandatory business closures.
The constant drumbeat of headlines designed to convince people to adopt new draconian government controls is more of less exactly the same as what it was back in March. Arizona “lost control of the epidemic” one headline proclaims, while another insists “ICU beds full.” A government bureaucrat in Texas says the situation is “apocalyptic” and Bloomberg dutifully features the word in its headline. The governor of California is threatening another stay-at-home order. The Texas governor has re-imposed some restrictions. Florida has “paused” its scaling back of lockdown edicts.
Americans should expect more of this as the year proceeds. Once we arrive at September, hospitalizations due to the usual winter diseases like flu will begin to mount. At that point, the daily headlines about “full” or nearly-full hospitals will be a daily or even hourly occurrence.
There is no doubt politicians and government “experts” like Anthony Fauci will briefly emerge from their luxury homes and gated communities to demand that middle class and working class Americans be once again forced to abandon their jobs, take pay cuts, and sit at home. (The politicians decreeing lockdowns, of course, will keep collecting their six-figure salaries.)
But there’s a problem with the politicos’ plans. They assume Americans will comply with the stay-at-home orders to the same degree they did back in March and April. This may not be a very prudent assumption. This will be due to at least two reasons. First, more Americans now doubt the official narrative on the disease. Second, Americans are now in a worse economic position compared to the time of the first lockdown.Both of these factors will contribute to more resistance to lockdowns.
In other words, a second lockdown will be more difficult — both economically and politically — than the first. Economic pain will mount as political doubts grow.
Americans Will Assess their Risk Differently Now than in March
Back in March and April, of course, many Americans didn’t know what to expect. The experts and politicians assured us we were all facing a truly apocalyptic scenario. Bodies would be piling up in the streets. Gurneys would be lining the sidewalks as patients died unattended. Americans were concerned: does this disease affect everyone equally? What is my risk level? Many people took a wait-and-see attitude.
But now that so much more is known than was the case in March, it is clear risk is hardly equal for everyone, and it makes little sense to lock down an entire population to protect certain specific populations. States that never enacted lockdowns during the first round, for example, had fewer deaths per capita.
Many Americans have also gradually become aware, for example, that in the US 40 percent of deaths attributed to COVID-19 occurred in nursing homes. Many now know that among known cases und
Article from Mises Wire