A few weeks into a national Covid-19 shutdown, and the natives are getting restless.  A lot of oldsters are incensed by the enormity of government edicts on people in a supposedly free society.  A lot of youngsters are incensed by the enormity of being indefinitely grounded, not by their parents but with them.  Nobody is happy right now.

It’s likely to get worse.  News reports say California Governor Gavin Newsom “will be closing all beaches and state parks across the state starting Friday” – a response to Orange County residents flocking to Newport Beach last weekend during a heatwave.  Is the governor’s action warranted?

We put together a chart of each state’s Covid data:  total number of tests performed, the number of positive and negative results, the number of deaths, and the fatality-to-population percentage rate.  It is a snapshot in time of state data compiled on April 28 between 1 and 4 pm. 

By comparison, California has a pretty decent track record on Covid.  With a a half million tests performed, only 8 percent – or 45,031 – were Covid-19 positive.  The state has reported 1,809 Covid-related deaths, or four one-hundredths of one percent of California’s 40 million population.  That’s about half the reported 3,563 fatalities due to car accidents in California in 2018.

In fact, no U.S. state has recorded Covid-related deaths over one percent of its total population – not even New York and New Jersey, which are considered the epicenter of Coronavirus cases. The original catastrophic projected death rates are not materializing, and it’s causing people to doubt the wisdom of the draconian lockdown policies in place in most states.

Medical professionals have joined the pushback.  A video interview of two California physicians, Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, was banned by YouTube for violating YouTube’s “community standards” (although it can still be viewed on Facebook).  These physicians argue that medical quarantines are for the sick, not the healthy. 

Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, echoes that sentiment. “The current lockdown is protecting the healthy instead of the vulnerable,” predominately older people and other high-risk groups:

Among the individuals exposed to Covid-19, people aged in their 70s have roughly twice the mortality of those in their 60s, 10 times the mortality of those in their 50s, 40 times that of those in their 40s, 100 times that of those in their 30s, and 300 times that of those in their 20s. The over-70s have a mortality that is more than 3,000 times higher than children have. For young people, the risk of death is so low that any reduced levels of mortality during the lockdown might not be due to fewer Covid-19 deaths, but due to fewer traffic accidents. [emphasis added]

While not perfect, Sweden has come closest to an age-based strategy by keeping elementary schools, stores and restaurants open, while older people are encouraged to stay at home.  Stockholm may become the first place to reach herd immunity, which will protect high-risk groups better than anything else until there is a cure or vaccine.

Herd immunity would have been a better response than the herd mentality of irrational fear and lockdown adopted by leaders around the nation and the world.  They made decisions based on scant available data; and although the data now strongly suggest a course correction, they seem as trapped in the lockdown as the rest of the population.   

In an interview, veteran newsman and Senior Fox News analyst Brit Hume said “it’s time to consider the possibility that coronavirus lockdown, as opposed to the more moderate mitigation efforts, was a colossal public policy calamity.”   

In a nation of free people, the decision to go out or stay home should be left to individuals.  If one needs to stay home, stay home.  If one needs to go out, go out.  But clinging to flawed policies, or adding indefensible new ones as Governor Newsome is doing, only causes restlessness to spread faster than the Coronavirus.