A plea to free everyone and end lockdown

09 June 2020
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In my previous article, End Lockdown: Free our Children and Grandchildren, I asked other senior citizens to join me in calling for the immediate ending of the lockdown. I have not changed my view. In fact, the rapidly accumulating worldwide evidence is that the entire pandemic has consisted of appalling errors based on erroneous information and consequent incorrect assumptions and calculations. What has become abundantly clear is that governments of most countries have overstepped the bounds of their capabilities, their legitimate roles, their just powers, and in the case of South Africa, its constitutional authority.

The lockdowns have had harsh economic consequences for firms and individuals who were abruptly told to stop whatever they were doing and hunch down in their homes, or wherever they happened to be, for an indeterminate period of time, until they were told what elements of their constitutional rights were to be restored to them. If they dared to knowingly or unknowingly infringe the despotically imposed rules of behaviour, they could be harshly dealt with by their "guardians of the peace", for the duration turned into intolerant bullies. Search the Constitution and you will find no provision that allows government to impose house arrest and other deprivations upon the entire nation.

Elderly people and the chronically ill, warned of the danger they face if infected with the coronavirus would, assisted by friends, family and community members automatically take precautions to avoid becoming infected. As a senior citizen I contend that it is unjust and unconstitutional to impose lockdowns, massive costs, and job losses on the younger and healthier members of the population, ostensibly to protect me and other elderly people from coronavirus infection.

Prolific, and widely published British author, Dr Vernon Coleman, warns:

"Around the world there is no consistency. In some areas, hospitals are shut entirely. In other areas, hospitals are open and even functioning fairly normally. In some countries patients who don’t have the coronavirus, or might not have the coronavirus, are completely ignored and rejected as irrelevant and unsuitable for treatment. There is no science or logic behind the closures and the refusal of hospitals and medical centres to treat patients."

On the one hand, hospitals are unavailable to patients suffering from the very illnesses that render them at most risk of dying if they become infected with the coronavirus. On the other, there are empty beds set aside for patients who may contract the virus. Under such circumstances, how are patients being treated in South Africa’s government hospitals? At the best of times government facilities are full to overflowing. What awaits people who this winter contract the annual flu, or suffer from other diseases that already afflict many low-income South Africans? Will they be shunted aside to give preference to otherwise young and healthy coronavirus patients?

Dr Coleman has this to say on the issue:

"Lockdowns and social distancing rules have been imposed without much sense. It is now fairly widely known that most of the people who have died from the virus, or have been ill with it, were obese or diabetic or both, and many had more than three chronic diseases.

The current treatment of patients with cancer, heart disease and other dangerous but treatable diseases is a grotesque scandal which has taken health care back to the Middle Ages. Patients, doctors and nurses have all been betrayed by the profession's leaders and by their governments and governmental advisors. Mental health problems are growing too. In California, a hospital has reported that it has seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in just four weeks."

Dr Coleman calls into question the imposition of lockdowns on the entire population when it is only a sector of the population that is seriously vulnerable. Having politicians and government officials make decisions that result in the withholding of treatment from people with other serious health problems is, to put it mildly, inhumane and without justification. He views this, as one of the most egregious crimes against the people. The observations of Dr Coleman and other health care professionals who share his views, should make the South African government, at all levels of decision-making, decide to end the lockdowns as early as possible.

This article was first published on BizNews on 02 June 2020

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