Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

The devastating consequences of coronavirus lockdowns in poor countries

Globally, the lockdowns have had the effect of colonialism on steroids.

By Kelsey Piper, Vox

The coronavirus pandemic that’s shattered lives throughout high-income countries is hitting the developing world as well. But while many of the world’s poor countries affected by the virus have imposed the same social distancing measures as rich ones, the results have not been the same — and the unintended consequences are proving to be deadly.

In most high-income countries, stay-at-home orders have been a cornerstone of the coronavirus response. But we’re learning quickly that taking a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t necessarily fit very well with the needs of the developing world.

The litany of unrest and suffering is growing by the day. In Kenya, police beat people for defying a stay-at-home order and shot to death a 13-year-old boy who was standing on his balcony. Human rights activists in Nigeria say that at least 18 people have been killed by security forces enforcing the lockdown. In India, news of an impending national lockdown sent millions of laborers fleeing for the rural areas where they hoped they could find food during the shutdown. They likely carried the coronavirus with them.


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