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Confinement: fear of death, the price of life and the risk of living

Laurent Muzellec


Saturday insight

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Loneliness can affect people of any age

Loneliness can affect people of any age

Lockdown: Confinement is keeping those most at risk safe but it is not a sustainable way of living. Photo: Jean-Francois Badias

Lockdown: Confinement is keeping those most at risk safe but it is not a sustainable way of living. Photo: Jean-Francois Badias

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Loneliness can affect people of any age

The Covid-19 pandemic is a tragedy that has already killed thousands around the globe. Governments, on the advice of medical staff and with the support of their citizens, have ordered a lockdown to slow the transmission of the virus. This measure, the only one possible in the absence of systematic testing, has been effective in reducing the death toll. Confinement as a temporary emergency measure made sense to “flatten the curve”.

Some countries have started to lift the lockdown but according to a recent Harvard study, it may be necessary to have periods of confinement until 2022. Maybe now is the time to calmly review the situation and discuss the merits of a prolonged confinement in the context of all of society, including future generations.

First, let us have a look at the present and future economic costs that those restrictions are imposing.


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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Simon Harris at a Government Covid-19 Press Briefing at Government Buildings. Pic Steve Humphreys