Prologue [chapter]

2022 Nudged into Lockdown?  
In December 2019, a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in Wuhan, China. The virus caused an acute respiratory disease, Covid-19. Within a few months, the disease had spread around the world. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic. With cases and deaths rising, public health systems under pressure and no effective anti-viral treatment, most countries in the world resorted to non-pharmaceutical interventions in an attempt to suppress/mitigate
more » ... disease. Almost all of these measures across the world took the form of extreme physical (or social) distancing; often referred to as "lockdowns". These lockdowns included some or all of the following measures: border closures and cancellation of international flights; restrictions on large gatherings (typically more than ten, 50 or 100 people), leading to cancellation of games, concerts, weddings, funerals, conferences and closure of schools, movies, theaters, bars, restaurants, churches, gyms and other places that see large congregations of people at one time; workplace closures with people asked to work from home as far as practicable; and often even restrictions on internal mobility, including suspension of domestic travel. By April 2020, some countries, such as my home country of New Zealand, adopted harsher lockdowns in the form of shutting down everything other than those which were deemed essential services, for example, supermarkets and hospitals. Even industries where physical distancing came naturally and did not pose a serious constraint, such as construction, were shut down. India and Israel also adopted similar draconian mitigation policies. 1 In most instances, people were in effect shut in; they were discouraged from venturing out of their homes except for essential work or to get exercise. If and when they did venture out, people were encouraged to behave as if they had Covid-19, wear protective equipment such as masks and gloves, and always stay within their "bubble" that included only people who were resident in the same household
doi:10.4337/9781802205671.00006 fatcat:ncyjxvkbunarhco4losrinmtoy