Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was declared among the deadliest pandemics ever experienced in human history. Consequently, the outbreak brought the world a health, education, social lifestyle, and economic crisis. The first case of the disease was reported in Wuhan, China, in 2019. A few months later, the formidable outbreak expanded globally due to globalization and tourism exploration. As a result of its faster spread, governments and world organizations implemented confinement measures to prevent the spread of infections. Stay Home, Stay Safe, regular hand washing, and isolation of infected victims were some unique methods implemented to control the virus. Generally, government lockdowns were most effective in decreasing the spread of COVID-19.
To begin with, the government’s lockdowns were effective in controlling the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Essentially, this travel policy restricted the movement of people domestically and internationally. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report, confinement interventions and physical distancing methods they lowered the rate of human-body contact transmissions (Dzator et al., 2022). For instance, during the first wave of COVID-19, when many governments resisted the enactment of lockdown policies, the number of people infected by the contagious virus kept rising compared to the second wave, where nations had executed movement restrictions.
Additionally, COVID-19 restrictions showed a progressive reduction in hospitalizations and mortality rates. Before the implementation of lockdowns, many states experienced healthcare burdens and strain on amenities due to an increase in the number of patients. Gatto et al. (2020) reported that states faced challenges such as insufficient funding, treatment equipment, and healthcare professionals to provide quality care to the increased number of hospital patients. Overall, due to lockdowns and social distancing, the number of new registered cases dropped drastically in many nations, such as the United States and Europe, preventing deaths. According to research conducted in Lebanon on COVID-19 containment measures, which involved the strictest movement prohibitions, there was a decrease in the number of newly diagnosed cases (Dzator et al., 2022). State restrictions promoted easy management of COVID-19, thereby ensuring a safer planet.
Moreover, enforcing lockdown practices triggered creativity and innovation, especially in health and agriculture. Robinson (2021) confirmed that the pandemic encouraged people to try new things and options to face negative circumstances such as economic and social challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis. For instance, in the health sector, restrictions followed the development of new technologies to develop effective vaccines and protective equipment and the improvising of technologies for tracking and tracing new cases. Furthermore, stay-at-home strategies had profound positive impacts on agriculture. In this case, the majority remained focused on developing sustainable and long-term food production resolutions that eliminate famine during such crises. Therefore, governments’ restrictions emphasized creativity and innovations that would enable the world to navigate future crises.
Furthermore, the measures improved telecommunications companies’ sustainability and environmental sustainability. In essence, people spend most of their time at home during this period. Many global corporations improvised work-from-home approaches that involved the use of data (Wang et al., 2021). As a result, working from home significantly affected the telecommunications industry as it pushed the providers to improve network reliability and resilience to serve the needs of their clients. Most importantly, working from home not only favors telecommunication but also encourages researchers to focus on implementing new methods that improve the world in the presence of other future pandemics to avoid economic imbalances and social isolation. Additionally, restricting national and global movements curbed pollution and reduced fuel machine burning, increasing environmental sustainability.
Conversely, total lockdown measures significantly negatively influenced the economic decline many countries have experienced in the last few decades. Globally, governments recorded an unprecedented drop in their gross domestic product (GDP) due to the complete closure of businesses. Consequently, poverty levels and poor social lifestyles increased due to a lack of employment opportunities. Many countries have not recovered from the economic fall due to a more significant unemployment gap. Therefore, lockdown and confinement measures failed to address economic pitfalls such as unemployment and an uncertain decrease in productivity.
Lastly, social exclusion and complete lockdown methods worsen mental health for the majority of world populations. Consequently, these government practices reduced social interactions by breaking contacts and relationships. It was reported that quarantine had diverse psychological and physical effects, such as anxiety, depression, and stress (Banks et al., 2020). For instance, a lack of physical activity created feelings of stress and anxiety among adults and aging populations above the age of 65. Furthermore, income loss had detrimental effects on mental illness among many adults. Ultimately, it is evident that the government’s lockdowns hampered the social mental health of many people; thus, governments should consider social factors before implementing the best containment practices.
Conclusively, as discussed above, it is evident that the government’s lockdowns against COVID-19 promoted a safer planet by containing the expansion of the virus. Implementing lockdown stay strategies was essential to improving the quality of life and reducing transmission rates and deaths. Although the restrictions hampered the social status and economy of the world, they encouraged global societies to come together and innovate effective confinement methods that create employment, increase production, and improve the social well-being of the global populace when faced with such threats.
Banks, J., Karjalainen, H., & Propper, C. (2020). Recessions and health: The long-term health consequences of responses to the coronavirus, Fiscal Studies, 41(2), 337–344.
Dzator, J., Acheampong, A. O., Dzator, M., Paolucci, F., Yawe, B. L., Asmah, E. E., & Gillespie, J. (2022). Policy stringency, handwashing, and COVID-19 cases: evidence from a global dataset, Health Policy and Technology, 11(2), 100574.
Gatto, M., Bertuzzo, E., Mari, L., Miccoli, S., Carraro, L., Casagrandi, R., & Rinaldo, A. (2020). Spread and dynamics of the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy: Effects of emergency containment measures Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117 (19), 10484–10491.
Robinson, O. (2021). COVID-19 lockdown policies: an interdisciplinary review Available at SSRN 3782395.
Wang, X., Zhan, Z., Williams, E. F., Herráez, M. G., Martins, H. F., & Karrenbach, M. (2021). Ground vibrations recorded by fibre-optic cables reveal traffic response to COVID-19 lockdown measures in Pasadena, California. Communications Earth & Environment, 2(1), 160