Could coronavirus lockdowns be worse for our health than disease itself?

Dr. Karol Sikora: People's mental, physical health is suffering during coronavirus

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Continuing the lockdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus could be threatening the health of those not sickened by COVID-19, according to a top British doctor.

Dr. Karol Sikora, dean of the University of Buckingham medical school, told FOX Business' Gerry Baker on "WSJ at Large" that the longer the economy is shut down, the more serious the collateral damage to people’s mental health.

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“Lockdown is ... fraught with danger from a psychological standpoint,” he said. “People will lose their jobs, unemployment will go up, self-esteem is absolutely vital to get out of this crisis.”

Sikora, who was once chief of the cancer program at the World Health Organization, noted a lot of workers just getting by are being hit hard.

“People in low-paid jobs and low-paid environments ... hospitality, for example, all the staff there are low-paid, even the managers are relatively low-paid, and many of them are going to be out of a job for some time unless we can kickstart the whole thing and get back," Sikora explained.

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He believes it’s vital to get people working again.

“We can never get back to where we were with travel, hotels and holidays quickly, it will take a year or two, but we can get a semblance of normality,” he pointed out. “We just got to get systems in place to allow people to do what they normally do safely.”

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In addition, Sikora said our laser focus on dealing with the virus has led to people not getting proper treatment for other dangerous diseases.

“As an oncologist, I’m really upset, and the reason I got into understanding corona and being very vocal about it is we’ve now got to make the shift away from corona, which we’ve dealt with, there’s been a surge but it’s all gone, into other diseases, and cancer is perhaps the biggest challenge now,” he argued. 

And he fears many more deaths will occur unless we return to spending more time on other major diseases such as cancer.

“It’s not that cancer has simply taken Easter off, it’s simply not being diagnosed,” he explained. “The longer it goes on, the worse the mortality and the suffering we’re going to see from cancer. So we’ve got to move.”

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