Covid: is lockdown a restriction that grew obsolete?

Published by Alexandre G. · Photos by Rizhlaine F. · Published on 3 March 2021 at 11h45
As the Covid-19 and its latest mutation epidemic continues to spread all over the world, especially in France, where measures are to be made harder, Scientific Committee member Franck Chauvin considers the notion of a “lockdown” is no longer legitimate in the health dialect to fight against the spread of the virus.

There are other ways to do it”. So, has warned head of the HCSP (High Public Health Committee) Franck Chauvin about lockdown in France. As the government is about to make restrictions harder, threatening the people to get back into lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 in France, Scientific Committee member tells this Tuesday February 23 in a memo released along with five of his peers in Politico via scientific magazine The Lancet.

Issued this past Thursday, the text affirms in the name of some members of the Scientific Committee (the body gatherings the government’s moving spirits in terms of health protection) a new “social contract” with the generations is necessary in France. And especially a new total lockdown is not necessary. Doctors from the Committee consider “younger generations could accept the constraint of prevention measures (eg, masks, physical distancing) on the condition that the older and more vulnerable groups adopt not only these measures, but also more specific steps (eg, voluntary self-isolation according to vulnerability criteria) to reduce their risk of infection”.

With this in mind, Chauvin affirms total lockdown as a restriction to fight against the spread can no longer have the same impact today. So much that it might become lapsed? “For I am a doctor, I sworn an oath, the Hippocratic oath, and that tells me ‘I will respect the privacy of my patients’” the doctor states. “And I don’t understand how doctors say ‘we’ll lock the others down’, especially as ‘lockdown’ is a sugarcoated word that, as soon as it gets strict – as some demand – hides another reality” the specialist says, annoyed. Furthermore, he “cannot bear” the use of the word “lockdown”.

Towards lockdown limited to elderly people?

According to the doctor, the government now has to “redefine goals” in terms of fight against the virus. As local-based lockdown has been instated in Alpes-Maritimes, Chauvin hopes the executive will decide to enter a “new phase” in the fight against the epidemic. A phase requiring other means, and other methods. “We must think about means preventing elderly people to be contaminated. It does not mean we have to isolate them! There is not only isolation, there are other ways to do it. We find a way to convey extreme cautiousness message and make sure it is complied with the most impoverished and elderly people” he says.

And for good reason! The doctor affirms that “what happened during the second wave and the second lockdown is that it made elderly people more sensitive to the pathology”. Even worse, he says “people over 70 years of age – and even from 50 for those with comorbidities – (who) paid dearly in comparison with youngest than during the first wave, and we aimed at the contrary”. From now on, Covid-19 prevention in France includes “taking care of men and women” more than making global measures. He thinks the government shall “look at what’s fragile and needs protection, and those who have to be protected are undeniably elderly people”. To the point elderly people should be placed into self-isolation?

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