By Kennedy Shelley
The idea that you can slow a pandemic through social isolation is not a fact, it’s an untested theory.
Intuitively it makes sense, but there are many things which seem to make sense to us, but in reality, are not true.
An example of this type of thinking is calcium supplementation for bone health. The idea was bone is made of calcium, and people suffer from bone degeneration, so the solution is more calcium. The problem is that it doesn’t work.
It turns out that unless you have the proper amount of vitamin D and weight-bearing stress on the bones, calcium won’t be absorbed into the bones and worse yet, the excess calcium tends to harden the arteries and cause kidney stones.
In short, the intuitive answer is completely wrong.
People and society like bones are complex systems. You can’t just change one thing without it affecting other areas.
What was never taken into account with the isolation model is what effect it would have on people’s ability to fight the virus naturally.
Does economic uncertainty and isolation have an effect on health? Of course, it does, and it may be much more profound than this virus.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and government-imposed lockdowns actually have other consequences.
ISOLATION AND IMMUNITY
Dr. Martin Malcolm of the University of Stirling looked at the effect of social isolation on the elderly and found it significantly lowered their ability to fight disease by destroying their immunity.
Longevity studies show consistently that if you want to live a long and healthy life you need a strong social support network. In other words, you need friends and community.
Forced government isolation breaks these ties that keep us healthy.
DANGER OF SUICIDE AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
One under-reported statistic is alcohol sales in the US since March. They have gone up 56%.
People are not at work so at least initially some thought “well, I’ll drown my sorrows and enjoy a drink during my vacation.” Unfortunately for some the addictive properties of alcohol become a problem.
Alcohol consumption also lowers the body’s ability to fight infections, putting more at risk of health problems.
And this also begins a horrible cycle for many leading to suicide. Alcohol is a depressant. That means it literally causes depression in people.
Isolation is one of the top risk factors for suicide.
CLOSING GYMS CAUSES MORE PROBLEMS
Isolation means losing the positive health habits many people have. Membership in a gym and working out in a group is often great motivation for people to get healthy.
But in the name of public health, we take away this vital link to one of the most important habits many people have for keeping a strong immune response.
Many people when they are under stress grab comfort from food, often junk foods that again negatively affect their immune function.
Unfortunately, this response is emotionally addictive to many people as they use it to soothe feelings of anxiety during a crisis.
In short, forced government isolation creates a host of unintended problems that actually make a pandemic worse.
There are two strategies for avoiding getting sick – stay away from the danger or make your immune system as strong as possible so you can fight the infection.
Whether anyone wanted it or not, our government forced ill-health on the nation made us less able to fight a virus, and never considered any negative consequence of the decision.
In short, they tried to solve one problem, but created many others.