There is much discussion about what has been the most useful behavior, along with the pandemic, by various countries. In fact, some have made human being care prevail, with significant damage to the economy, while others have put the foreground on safeguarding the economy to the detriment of public health, in fact sacrificing many human lives.
I think that the problem of lockdown is not related to the conflict between economy and health, but to which economy and to which health the people are entitled.
We have seen that both actually appeal to people’s rights. But the coronavirus has only brought out – in our advanced societies – a widespread situation of profound inequalities that nullify the meaning of this appeal.
The economy that some wanted to protect, invoking the opening of productive and commercial activities, took place already before in a cultural and social context that now makes it inevitable that the weakest people will pay with greater discomfort (if not also their lives) the survival of the production machine. But, also health, which is now being sought to defend by closing in, is ultimately that of the privileged who are not frustrated and exasperated by unemployment and confinement in confined spaces.
If economy and health are in conflict, then, it is not because one of the two is on the side of the dignity of the person, but because, at present, neither is.
And it is not the fault of the coronavirus. It is only bringing out the wounds already existent in the heart of our societies, sharpening them.
The biggest danger, now, is perhaps to believe that the important thing is to forget, together to Covid-19, this “memory refreshment” that it has made to us, forgetting even these wounds and go back to being as we were before.