MANY HAVE COVID IMMUNITY, BUT SUFFER FROM LOCKDOWNS
By MARTHA CARVER, RN
An open letter to Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson,
Do not shut down our city for the month of December. This will have devastating effects on our community, which has suffered enough. This is an irresponsible move and I am asking for your resignation as acting mayor. Step aside and let someone else be in charge of Anchorage.
The CDC, American Nurses Association, and individual nurses have been asking the public to stay home due to COVID.
They key word is ask. I am a nurse and as a profession, we respect an individual’s right to autonomy. It is so important a concept, that it is included in the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics because sometimes patients do not follow our recommendations. The healthcare provider informs them of the benefits, risks, and alternatives to treatments, and then needs to respect their decision. That is their right.
Years ago, I provided care for a patient who had a low hemoglobin and needed a blood transfusion. She refused since she was a Jehovah’s Witness adherent, and although we knew she needed the transfusion, we respected her decision. There are times when patients leave the hospital against medical advice. We may not agree with their choice, but we have to honor it.
Likewise, the government must respect the individual’s right to make his or her own decisions, even if the person makes the wrong decisions. And who is to say what is wrong for them? As many people in Anchorage have recovered from COVID-19, should you make laws to limit their rights when they can no longer get COVID or infect others?
People can wear masks without an ordinance commanding them to do so. People can stay home when they are experiencing symptoms or had contact with a COVID-19-positive individual, regardless of a municipal ordinance. You should not compound our economic disaster by placing any further restrictions on businesses. And yet, not only have you decided to restrict businesses, but you have chosen to extend the restrictions into our private homes. That is a mistake. You should have faith the residents of Anchorage. Trust the public to do what is right.
It is time to weigh the negative effects of mandates against the threat of Covid. The World Health Organization is now requesting leaders to end lockdowns.
According to MSN.com, “In the United States, lockdowns have been tied to increase thoughts of suicide from children, a surge in drug overdoses, an uptick in domestic violence, and a study conducted in May concluded that stress and anxiety from lockdowns could destroy seven times the years of life the lockdowns potentially save.” Seven times the years of life that the shutdown would potentially save! This is significant and demonstrates the negative effects of restrictions.
I have heard the argument that it is reckless to end the mandates when the number of cases is high, but I argue it is reckless to continue the mandates.
Leaders must balance the risk of COVID, which is minimal, as many people are asymptomatic, treatments are available, and has a low mortality rate, against the other public health problems of anxiety, substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, sex trafficking, and depression.
When you take the time to assess the full magnitude of the problem rather than just looking at one piece, then it is easy to see the solution is to allow the public their freedoms and end lockdowns.
My mother grew up in German-occupied Yugoslavia. She was told by the government that she could not do many things either. She had to make sure she carried her paperwork.
Yet as a 12-year-old girl, she would ride her bike to bring food to the local troops hiding from the German soldiers. She told me if the Germans found out what she was doing, they would have killed her. It would have been safer for her to stay home, yet she chose not to. If she was still alive, she would not like being told that she could not celebrate Christmas with her family.
Our Municipality’s actions are similar to the restrictions my mom experienced when growing up during the middle of World War II. Please change your mind on these restrictions. Open Anchorage.
Martha Carver started her nursing career in the Air Force. She has worked for many years in med/surg nursing in various states. She moved to Alaska ten years ago and taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing. She is not working as a nurse presently and writes in her personal capacity.