The COVID-19 virus has made 2020 a turning point year for humankind. This new virus has infected millions and has contributed to the deaths of many thousands.

In my opinion, the non-lethal effects from our response will end up being far worse than the virus itself.

We are testing more and finding more cases. We are also experiencing a decreasing rate of death. The unintended consequences of our safety at all costs response will last for years.

We are in a lockdown as we speak. Yes, we can move about. But we are under a system of social restrictions. We have no in person school in Dane County for grades 3-12. We have no in-person school currently at UW Madison.

Many of us in Verona have children that attend UW Madison. Those in the dorms are under strict lockdown. A lot of money is being spent on a zoom only education. It’s sad. It’s also very dehumanizing.

That is saddest part of all this “pandemic”. It has made us all less human.

The news scares us daily into not interacting with other people. Our children, our high schoolers and our young adults needs socializing to be mentally healthy. Our leaders have taken this away, because of irrational fear.

I know high schoolers and college students directly affected by suicide, from a suicide rate that has skyrocketed during this shutdown. Our young people need human to human socializing, yet we shame them or fine them or lock them in a dorm when they act as human beings do.

COVID-19 has made us all less human. And for what? 100 percent safety?

That’s ironic, because while we try to achieve this 100 percent safety, we continue to pollute our planet to the point of it soon being uninhabitable. We get our food from factory farms that abuse animals, use toxic pesticides and destroy our soil and drinking water. We generate plastic, often to protect us from COVID, that will pollute our planet for thousands of years. Be burn oil to the point of baking us all.

We do all these harmful things and also restrict what it means to be humans. The think, to ponder, to help, to love.

As a pharmacist, I still believe a strong immune system is how we best deal with the COVID virus. Unfortunately, the dehumanization of us all will last much longer.

Tim Melin

City of Verona