Would a state-wide lockdown work?

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On March 22, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a Stay-at-Home order, which advised residents to stay in their homes and only go out for necessities like food, medication or to take a walk while maintaining a respectable distance from others. On that same day, Tony Spell, pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, reportedly held a worship service of 1,000 people.

In an interview with CNN, Spell stated, “If they close every door in this city, then I will close my doors. But you can’t say the retailers are essential but the church is not. That is a persecution of the faith.”

Religious or not, one can see that this was an irresponsible act made by Spell, and it put church-goers at risk of potentially contracting COVID-19.

In a news conference on the same day of issuing the Stay-at-Home order, Edwards stated that Louisiana has the fastest rate of growth of COVID-19 cases in the world, according to a study by the University of Louisiana Lafayette.

With such a fast growth rate and with cases continuing to skyrocket both state and nation-wide, why are some people not taking this seriously, and is the “Stay-at-Home” order enough?

In an article published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, research found that some people have an optimistic bias concerning personal risk, and that they think that others are more likely to be affected than themselves.

 

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This optimistic bias has the ability to make people take fewer precautions because they are healthy, young or have no underlying health risks. They believe that they are essentially immune to this virus.

This is a flawed way of thinking because we are still learning how this disease caused by the coronavirus works, and many healthy young people with no underlying health risks have still died across the globe.

I think this bias and the notion of American exceptionalism are causing citizens and some members of the government to disregard this pandemic in the name of mass hysteria or political motivation.

This way of thinking can have deadly repercussions and lead to more deaths, both locally and abroad. I believe that we must have a state-wide lockdown to thwart the spread of the coronavirus.

A lockdown would be inconvenient, but this will stop the spread of the virus through public contact and help the hospitals breathe a little so that they can manage their already limited resources to treat the few patients that come in.

According to a study by the Imperial College London COVID-19 Response Team, without any preventive measures like lockdowns or social distancing, 81% of the U.S. population would be infected and a staggering 2.2 million Americans could die.

To prevent this worst-case scenario from happening, the Imperial College London COVID-19 Response Team stated, “a combination of case isolation, social distancing of the entire population and either household quarantine or school and university closure are required.”

To stop this virus from getting any worse, we all need to work together to stop the spread. Until a state-wide lockdown is announced, people must do their part and limit contact with others besides family or friends that they may already live with.

 

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