Who would have thought that in the 21st century numerous countries would revert to dark age thinking concerning viral epidemics? In Argentina, officials were so paranoid and panicked over the virus that not only did they lock down the country for over 200 days, they ordered all bodies of the deceased in some areas be cremated.
The result? They are now in the worst position of any country … after having destroyed their society for 200 days to stop it!
On Tuesday, NBC reported that Argentina had the highest positivity rate of confirmed COVID-19 testing of any country in the world. Their positivity rate is just shy of 60%. They also have the world's highest seven-day rolling average of new fatalities. While the media is claiming they are being lax about enforcement, the reality is that they had one of the earliest and most draconian lockdowns. They had a mask mandate in place since April 14. They even forced cremation of some of those who died from the virus against the will of Jewish residents who asked for a proper burial.
Yet, the strategy of locking down and wearing masks to somehow avoid the spread of a virus from the living is as primitive and sophomoric as the dark age fear of dead bodies spreading the virus. As their Latin American neighbor, Peru, learned, lockdowns only work until it is actually time for the virus to spread in a given area. At that point, nothing works until it runs its course. Peru has the overall highest per capita fatality rate despite having what some considered the strictest lockdown.
Argentina, like many of the countries around the world that barely experienced any virus deaths during the first few months of the pandemic, thought that their draconian policies enabled them to dodge the bullet. But when spring turned into summer, they began experiencing growth in cases that later intensified, as we have seen in many countries that first escaped the virus. Argentina was praised by the liberal media for following the science and imposing a "strict COVID-19 lockdown," which "saved lives."
Israel is another prime example of a country that had a strict lockdown early on and a continuous mask mandate, yet the virus is now spreading quickly. The plaudits that were lavished upon their leaders was as premature as praising a baseball team for its performance after the first inning.
While we are busy counting COVID-19 deaths in many of these countries without any regard as to whether those deaths were avoidable, we know that the lockdown deaths are 100% man-made. After locking down for over a half year, Argentina has nothing to show for it but an economy on the brink and massive poverty. Nearly half of all its citizens are now living in poverty and their rate of inflation is over 40%.
Contrast this to Sweden where its economy and mental health is in intact with fewer deaths and it becomes clear that lockdowns were the worst public policy decision in modern history. All pain and no gain.
As Dr. Scott Atlas, President Trump's new coronavirus adviser, recently said, "Lockdowns are a luxury of the rich."