Staff Editorial: America requires a second lockdown to contain COVID-19


Staff Editorial

There are moments from this last summer of quarantine that no one wants to repeat. The world had its fill of sourdough starters, Zoom happy hours, toilet paper shortages and horrible celebrity renditions of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” However, when it comes to a deadly virus that already killed 250,000 Americans and continues to rip its way through the country, doing what’s easy and comfortable isn’t always an option.

The U.S. needs to enter another widespread lockdown.

There are many arguments against lockdown-like restrictions, but it’s the one thing that could effectively slow the virus’ spread, keep hospitals from being overwhelmed and help save thousands of lives.

Another lockdown is by far not an easy decision. It will reignite problems that the first wave of stay-at-home orders caused — widespread loss of employment, immense financial insecurity, introduce more stress to family and relationship dynamics and push the ongoing mental health crisis closer to a breaking point.

It’s less than ideal — but in this unprecedented year, what has been?

When COVID-19 daily cases are shattering record after record, it’s proof that what the country is doing isn’t enough, and the virus is winning.

A large scale lockdown will have negative consequences, but it’s a sacrifice that may be necessary in order to subdue the outbreak in the U.S. just enough to get the spread under control.

The news released about the promising COVID-19 vaccine results are an incredible glimmer of hope that we might one day see an end to this situation that’s fundamentally changed every part of our lives. Though nice to hear, it doesn’t do anything to stop the spread. This virus is still on the path to take the lives of thousands more.

Hopeful first initial test results are a long way from approval and widespread distribution. If we’re lucky, and everything goes perfectly, a vaccine could be available by the spring of 2021, at the earliest. This country still has to make it through both the fall and winter.

All around the country, coronavirus cases are continuing to rise as the cold weather sets in and the holiday season approaches.

The virus spreads most easily indoors and as the cold weather sets in, the number of outdoor gatherings will quickly lessen. Paired with holiday celebrations that have the potential to become super spreader events infecting entire families, this may be a very deadly winter.

Another huge spike in the number of coronavirus cases around the country is very likely to come in the next few months.

There’s one huge advantage a second wave of lockdown restrictions will have over the first, and that’s experience. Back in March, the world was tossed into a dizzying scramble to try and adapt society to new never-before-seen rules, and it was messy.

By now, the reality of the situation has set in and whether people take it seriously or not, everyone — for the most part — has adapted to this new way of life. While strict stay-at-home restrictions won’t be popular among many, the country went through it once — it can do it again.