Letters: Lockdowns were unnecessary
The shutdowns have been an economic and health disaster for the Navajo Nation and have not been based on science or medicine. In a major and definitive peer-reviewed paper published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, conclusive evidence underlined that shutdowns did not and do not work.
Indeed, those countries that did not institute lockdowns fared just as well if not better than those that did.
Social distancing, masks, temperature checks, and common sense were what worked to limit the spread of COVID-19. Growing evidence suggest that those dying from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and other disease have skyrocketed. The shutdowns seem to have caused increased deaths overall within the community and the United States.
This is especially true here at Navajo Nation where heart disease is 50% higher, diabetes 200% higher, and 30% higher asthma rates, making the increased death rates due to no COVID skyrocket even more.
Indeed, the general public does not understand that doctors and scientists who work for the government such as the CDC, with some exceptions, tend to have graduated near the bottom of the class and couldn’t cut it in academia, private practice, or industry, which all tend to have higher levels of these scientists and practitioners.
Thus, the pronouncements from the government of these officials were more about obtaining more prestige and power that they have been denied by the medical and scientific community as a whole.
The politicians likewise fed into this, though admittedly some had good intentions but were ill advised.
A fundamental principle of microbiology is that as a microbe becomes more prevalent it also becomes less deadly. Microbes, if they kill the host, cannot spread; thus we see over time viruses evolving to spread more easily but become less and less of a deadly threat.
The recent uptick in COVID-19 cases was predictable, as was the decrease in mortality, which is now below 1%, whereas when the pandemic first started it was 4% to 5%. In sum, the shutdowns have caused more harm, increased deaths, hurt the economy, and caused untold human suffering and are not supported by science or medicine.
Once the vaccine reaches 95% of the population, masks and social distancing will no longer be needed, as herd immunity will be reached. The Navajo Nation deserved better.
Joseph Angel de Soto