Why the United States needs a lockdown

With more coronavirus cases and deaths every day, the United States has become a COVID-19 hotspot in recent months due to conflicting messages and half-hearted measures from the government at all levels. However, while each state has a different mandate in place with varying degrees of severity, it has become impossible to control the spread of the disease within the entire country. 

For the U.S. to take complete control of the disease plaguing our country, we must all sacrifice for a serious lockdown, one in which we shut down all nonessential businesses and limit the time people spend outside their homes where they will be masked and socially distant, for the sake of those most at risk.   

The looming number of over 289, 365 coronavirus deaths could’ve been prevented by locking down the country in the earlier stages of the pandemic. Still, as families and friends gather together for the holidays with no lockdown, but even higher COVID-positive rates than in the past, these numbers–cases, deaths–will only increase.

Although the smaller, partial lockdowns most states have been implementing on-and-off are better than nothing, they have avoidable drawbacks. During these lockdowns, those who follow mandates must make sacrifices, others ignore it and further spread the virus, defeating the initial purpose. Not to mention that many look at surrounding states’ leniency as supposed “proof” that it’s safe to continue to go out.

For example, Texas, the state with the most coronavirus cases, restricts businesses to a 75 percent capacity. On the other hand, California has tried to limit its cases by issuing a partial stay-at-home order, along with a cap of 25 percent capacity for most businesses. Since each state has different levels of mandates in effect, a national lockdown planned by top public health officials and issued by the president would set a decisive action, unifying the nation in action to stop the spread of the virus.

 As successfully seen in countries like New Zealand and Thailand, a national lockdown would decrease new recorded positive tests, though maybe not to some countries’ level of a one-digit daily number. These countries have already begun slowly reopening schools and businesses, rebounding the economy, and America could join them if we take decisive action. 

Choosing between a full lockdown or partial lockdown is essentially weighing our citizens’ lives against money. Though a national lockdown will shut down the economy, we’ll eventually return to the workforce and restore the economy to the way it was before the pandemic. On the other hand, we can’t return the lives of those who lost theirs to the virus. 

In addition, though partial lockdowns try to keep the economy afloat, we are in a recession regardless, with hundreds of thousands of lives and millions of jobs lost from not completely shutting down the country. While other countries have already gone on lockdown to control the coronavirus, and will start seeing rebounds, we in the U.S. are still figuring out how to get citizens to wear masks.

It seems that a total lockdown would be the best option for the U.S. to gain more control over the infection rate, even if there’s a possibility of a vaccine in the coming months. After all, there’s always a possibility Americans will ignore the vaccine just like they did the mask mandates and lockdowns.