Monday 15 June 2020

Better to ban cars, not shops and restaurants, if Romanian lives matter

In 2019 Romania had the highest road fatality rate in the European Union, 96 deaths per 1 million inhabitants, according to preliminary figures published on June 11 by the European Commission. It marks a big improvement on 2010 though, when there were 110 deaths per million.

Almost 2,000 deaths. How much better had the Romanian government not had a lockdown but banned all journeys by motor vehicle for a year, with exceptions only for police, ambulance, fire engines and girlfriends of politicians.

It would have caused huge inconvenience, it's true, but it would have saved two thousand lives to make up for any excess deaths from Covid-19 caused by not having a lockdown ('carantina' in Romanian). 

Unlike the people dying of Covid-19, the people whose lives would have been saved would be of all ages and mostly in good health. It would have caused infinitely less damage to the economy and infinitely less suffering in the long term.

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