Tags: coronavirus | cuomo | covid | workforce

It's Time to Reopen the Country

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By Tuesday, 12 May 2020 10:54 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Sometimes the cure can create a bigger problem than the disease.

While much of the economy has been shut down to keep human contact to a minimum and flatten the COVID-19 infection curve, the economic shutdown and social isolation are creating a whole host of life-challenging problems.

And Montreal-based integrative health practitioner Megan Pennington tells Newsmax that if the recommendations of some health professionals to continue the shutdown for as long at 18 months are followed, the problems will continue to spike.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo disagreed, and the Democratic politician asked at an April press briefing, "How can the cure be worse than the illness if the illness is potential death?"

Pennington responds that "The cure can be just as deadly as the illness." In fact, when the cure is social isolation, it can be deadlier than the underlying disease.

For example, "there was a [Brigham Young University] scholars archive that accumulated data from 70 independent studies with over 3 million participants followed for an average of 7 years," she says. "After accounting for multiple covariates, the increased likelihood of death was 26% for reported loneliness, 29% for social isolation, and 32% for just living alone."

Pennington adds that BYU's findings were confirmed by the results of a 30-year study launched by the American Journal of Epidemiology.

She said that physician and psychiatrist Terry Kupers performed his own independent study on prison populations and published his findings in the book, Solitary.

Kupers found that "even in short-term isolations of less than three months, he sees severe anxiety, depression and aggression in relatively healthy prisoners," Pennington says.

For the mentally ill or those prone to mental illness the effects are more serious. It can cause "psychotic breakdowns, severe affective disorders, and suicide crises" in those instances.

All told, isolation and social distancing has led to an increase in:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Drug abuse, including opioids
  • Alcoholism
  • Suicide
  • Divorce and domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Stress from job loss and business closures

On that last issue, social distancing has already taken an enormous toll.

The 113-year-old Dallas-based luxury department store chain Neiman-Marcus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last Thursday. Although the retailer has been struggling to remain afloat in recent years, the coronavirus shutdown pushed it over the edge.

The Neiman-Marcus bankruptcy filing came just three days after another retail giant, the mall-based apparel chain J. Crew, also filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.

On a small scale, another Dallas-based business also made the news last week. Hair salon owner Shelley Luther was ordered to serve a seven-day jail sentence for opening her business in violation of a shutdown order. She said she did it so that she and her employees could put food on the table.

The sentencing judge told Luther that she could avoid jail time if she admitted she was wrong and that her action was "selfish." She replied that "feeding my kids is not selfish." Luther added that "I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they'd rather feed their kids.

Pennington agrees that effectively shutting down the economy creates its own set of issues.

"There's going to be an estimated 47 million jobs lost in this pandemic," she says. "Studies show there's a 63% higher risk of mortality for those who have experienced unemployment compared to those who have not," adding, "that was a meta-analysis done with social science and medicine with over 20 million participants."

As TV host and author Mike Rowe observed recently, there's no such thing as a "nonessential worker." America needs its entire workforce.

The Manhattan Institute reported that increased costs due to COVID-19 relief measures will likely produce a 2020 budget deficit in exceeding $4.2 trillion added to an already staggering national debt. At the same time, the tax base to pay for that aid is shrinking at an alarming rate. Within the span of just a few short months unemployment spiked fourfold — from 3.5% to 14.7%.

Sweden took the opposite approach. It left its schools, bars, restaurants and gyms open during the coronavirus outbreak. Some experts say the strategy might be working and that the country could reach "herd immunity" within weeks.

Pennington believes it's still too early to reach any hard conclusions.

"Because this is so unprecedented there's a lot that experts don't know and there's a lot of diversity of opinion," she says. "It's really difficult to say where the happy medium will be between the risk versus benefits, so it's kind of an experiment at this point."

Pennington says that between the two extremes of New York and Sweden, "somewhere in the middle may be what will work out best."

And we've arguably reached that point already.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports  More Here.

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Sometimes the cure can create a bigger problem than the disease.
coronavirus, cuomo, covid, workforce
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2020-54-12
Tuesday, 12 May 2020 10:54 AM
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