Are COVID Lockdowns Worth The Economic and Societal Consequences?


Oh boy. Now they’ve really gone and done it. Arc Specialties President Dan Allford always enjoys getting a little spicy on The Roboticist Chronicles, but in this edition it’s a full-on spirited debate with host Tyler Kern.

You may have heard back-and-forth about lockdowns, which most nations have implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to stem the spread of the deadly virus, but very few started with a three-pawed lion in Zambia.

“Here was an aspect of (lockdowns) I hadn’t even considered: What happens when tourist dollars get cut off to these places,” Allford said of a recent trip to Africa. “Specifically, people get laid off and some of the people being laid off are the anti-poaching squad. And, the anti-poaching squad, these are tough guys.”

“Most of the time it’s no violent conflict. What they’re doing is removing snares. These snares are truly horrible.”

A lockdown would make it more difficult for tourists from North America or Europe to take a trip to Africa and stimulate the local economy. This results in fewer resources to combat poaching in the grassy plains of Zambia bringing harm to lions.

Business has continued at Arc, with Allford able to bring his team to work thanks to being an essential business with not only the ability but the obligation to continue manufacturing. But Allford said he hopes even with COVID cases back on the rise that the government allows people to make their own decisions.

“I would say the lockdown has to be voluntary. If anybody wants to lockdown is welcome to do it, and hopefully, they have the resources to do it,” he said. “Now, I don’t think we should support this to public dollars to the point where we bankrupt our grandkids either, but I think those of us that want to go to work, kids that want to go to school should have the right to.”

Kern gives his own thoughts as well. Spoiler: The resolution at the end is both men agreeing to disagree after an Arc podcast unlike any other.