Mandatory lockdown orders are causing unnecessary fears and anxiety in the hearts and minds of Americans, some experts believe.
Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, wrote that many people are terrified to leave their homes and have confined themselves, and their children, indoors for the past seven weeks.
In a Fox News opinion piece, Berenson tells the story of one New York City family that has not left its apartment since March 12, relying on delivered groceries for survival.
Berenson expressed concern about the mental welfare of their 11-year-old son. A woman in Texas, he added, is “too frightened to leave the house. She won’t go out herself or allow anyone in who might bring the infection.”
Berenson said that despite the fact that physicians all over the world have confirmed the coronavirus poses few serious dangers to children and young adults, many Americans are paralyzed by fear.
He added that countries like Denmark, Israel, and Germany are reopening some or all schools.
“Yet with American governors going the other way and extending school closures, some parents are confining their children to homes and apartments and refusing to allow them outside even for short stretches,” he wrote. On his website, the best-selling author said:
“The mental toll of lockdowns appears to be growing as many states enter their seventh week of mandatory stay-at-home orders. Even people who had no previous symptoms of anxiety and depression regularly report nightmares, panic attacks, and agoraphobia to friends and social media.
“Many healthy Americans haven’t left their homes and apartments since March, apparently terrified by increasing media coverage even though hospitalization and death data suggest the coronavirus poses low risks to them.”
According to USA Today, it’s the fear of the unknown that’s driving Americans into a state of panic and fear.
“When we feel, ‘Oh my God, there’s a new boogeyman out there,’ it comes with extra fear,” said David Ropeik, an expert on risk communication. “When we don’t understand something, that leaves us feeling like we don’t know everything we need to know to protect ourselves. That equates to powerlessness, vulnerability.”
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