At least 6000 health experts from all parts of the world are becoming a part of the international anti-lockdown movement. According to these experts, the impacts of imposing a lockdown are extremely dangerous for public health including mental as well as physical health. They are not against imposing public safety measures but closing out everything, restricting people at their houses because of a pandemic is causing more harm than benefit, according to them.
The supports of the anti-lockdown movement call for giving more protection to vulnerable people. They have proposed that following a specific approach will give better and fruitful results. They also suggest that the long-term effects of these lockdowns will probably be worse than thought.
This anti-lockdown movement is named the Great Barrington Declaration and it has shared that many health practitioners are now a part of this movement. The Great Barrington Declaration has started in the US but it has now reached thousands of supporters from all parts of the world. At least, 6000 researchers and health experts have signed it and its current public members are exceeding 50,000.
Health experts from leading institutes such as Oxford University, Nottingham University, and Edinburgh University have also signed it. According to these health experts, lockdown policies need better control until a vaccine is available. Restricting everything to control a pathogen is causing more damage than benefits especially for the underprivileged community.
They have indicated that lockdowns cause declined or missed childhood vaccinations, non-availability of medical services for crucial heart patients and cancer patients. They have also pointed out that the risk of death by coronavirus is highest for those who have underlying medical conditions and need medical care but the lockdowns make it impossible for them to get help. They support their arguments that the flu virus takes more lives than coronavirus every year so closing down everything for a viral disease with a much lower mortality rate than other diseases is questionable.
The risk of getting COVID-19 is high for the entire population but only a few of them are more vulnerable than others. So what they suggest in place of lockdown is to follow a targeted and compassionate controlling approach.
This movement suggests conducting more tests for the vulnerable community such as the care-home employees as much as other people. In addition to these, those living in retirement homes should get access to basic needs delivered at their doorstep, and expecting them to take care of it by themselves like other people is unfair. The emotionally vulnerable need a social setup more than every other person which is why they suggest family meetups to be allowed under safety measures.
All simple hygiene tips such as regular handwashing and staying at home if a person feels sick should be prioritized by everyone.
This declaration is certainly signed with good intention with aims to take care of the underprivileged people more during this on-going pandemic. However, other health experts believe it to have profound flaws and uncertainty as vulnerability is defined with multiple varied factors thus hard to determine in most cases. Also, the herd immunity seems pretty much unclear at this point and without a vaccine, lifting the lockdowns in high transmission areas seems like a chance to let the pandemic spread.