A Boston friend who is about 60 years old recently shared that the 50+ shutdown orders from the Maskachusetts governor had resulted in the loss of her fitness habits, a cessation in her gym visits, a substantial weight gain, and a general feeling of poor health. The shutdown that protected her from Covid-19, in other words, has rendered her far more vulnerable to Covid-19 than she ever was previously (see “Extra Pounds May Raise Risk of Severe Covid-19” (NYT, October 10, filed under “belaboring the obvious”).
Had this weakened her faith in the Church of Shutdown and made her think that we can’t prevent deaths, but only shift them from the elderly to the non-elderly? (see “The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life” for a partial calculation of how Americans will die prematurely over the coming years)
She still believed in the religion for herself and others. I related to her the complaint of a 35-year-old helicopter instrument student that the shutdown was orchestrated by married people home in their big houses with their kids. “What about people like me,” he asked, “who still want to find someone to have children with? My social and dating lives were destroyed by the lockdown. Then, just as soon as things started to open a bit, I had to work 15 extra hours per week and go on the night shift because so many guys were home collecting their $600 per week and wouldn’t come back.” (I refrained from sharing that he might want to consider moving away from the jurisdiction of Massachusetts family law if his goal is to have children and remain part of their lives after the mom decided she needs to have sex with some new friends while hanging onto his paycheck.) Her response was simply to deny that the 35-year-old had suffered a loss. She imagined herself better situated to evaluate the impact of the shutdown on his life than he himself was.
She has some opportunities to observe high-school and college-age residents of the Boston area. As far as she can tell, they are not heeding directives to maintain social distance, wear masks when together, etc. As long as there is this substantial segment of the population ignoring most of the orders, doesn’t that mean that the plague will eventually spread widely, even if the orders could have worked in a more efficient police state? Apparently not!