Dr Alberto Giubilini

We Must Not Shut Down University Campuses Again

by Dr. Alberto Giubilini Like many other pandemic measures, the extended closures of university campuses has been a massive social and public health experiment. The results in the report published this week in Collateral Global this week on the impact of pandemic restrictions on university students’ mental health – sadly – should not be too surprising. Young people were not a priority during the pandemic. It is quite telling that most countries – and most people – did not change strategies and attitudes after the initial uncertainty, as we gained more evidence about how minuscule young people’s risk is from Covid. We continued imposing population-wide restrictions, including the closures of schools and university campuses, and moving to online-only teaching, even when it became clear that these restrictions would not benefit young people. They did not need protection from Covid as much as they needed protection from the effects of policy responses on their mental health and their psycho-physical development more generally. This report emphasises once more how we failed to protect young people’s well-being from the inevitable harms of prolonged restrictions. Public health policies are justified to the extent that they produce significant enough collective benefits without disproportionately burdening certain groups. Admittedly, in situations of uncertainty, a rigorous cost-benefit analysis is not always possible. And yet, the stricter the restrictions, the stronger the...

No More “Competitive Victimhood”

by Dr Alberto Giubilini I suspect Guy de la Bédoyère and I might be more in agreement than his reply might suggest. It would probably not be too helpful to engage in a point-by-point response to his criticism, pretty much for the same reason why he thinks my original article (in which I claimed that lockdown is unfair towards young generations) was not helpful: it creates an unnecessary contrast between groups – an indulgence in “competitive victimhood”, as he says – when in fact a strong case can be made that every age group has been negatively affected by lockdown. I agree it might not be helpful to create divisions across age groups when we all want the same, reasonable thing: a comprehensive argument as to why lockdown should be lifted. My aim was not to be helpful in this sense, to be honest. It was just to highlight one aspect around intergenerational justice that I think is too often overlooked: lockdown is unfair towards the young. What de la Bédoyère brings are additional reasons why lockdown should be lifted, but these are not related to unfairness. They are about the burdens on the elderly and how they have been denied their freedom. His points and my points are perfectly consistent, as I see it: that the young are unfairly...

We Are Not in it Together

by Dr Alberto Giubilini The idea that “we are all in it together” has polluted ethical reflection about lockdown. Slogans often do that. At best, the idea is misleading. At worst, it is simply false. In either case, it has turned ethical analysis of lockdown into ideological moralism. COVID-19 did not put us in it together. That slogan is a legacy of the initial uncertainty around the virus. In February-March 2020, we knew very little about it and we thought it was way more dangerous and lethal across all population groups. We now know COVID-19 is a serious threat to the elderly and certain vulnerable groups. But to young people, it is not (that is, if we look at the data, not at individual stories). The mortality rate is estimated to be below 0.1% in the under 40s, to double approximately every eight years, and to rise above 5% in the over 80s. The mortality rate of COVID-19 in children is comparable to that of chickenpox, that is, almost non-existent. “Long-covid” is often invoked to justify restrictions also for the young, but it has a similar pattern to mortality rates: the risk is low for the young and increases with age. This does not mean that COVID-19 is a made up problem or that we should not take it seriously....

No Content Available
No Content Available
December 2022
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
Free Speech Union

Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Create New Account!

Please note: To be able to comment on our articles you'll need to be a registered donor

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.