Are lockdowns a good way to deal with a pandemic?

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Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on October 14, 2020 and last updated on July 17, 2023

The topic of whether lockdowns are an effective approach to managing pandemics holds significant relevance for English learners as it not only enhances their language skills but also encourages critical thinking and analysis. Engaging in discussions about lockdowns allows learners to expand their vocabulary related to public health, crisis management and societal impact.

Exploring this topic helps English learners improve their language proficiency while fostering a deeper understanding of global health crises and policy responses.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

Are lockdowns a good way to deal with a pandemic?

The effectiveness of lockdowns as a strategy to manage pandemics remains a topic of ongoing debate and scrutiny. Lockdowns involve the implementation of strict measures such as stay-at-home orders, closure of businesses and public spaces, and restrictions on movement to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases. Proponents argue that lockdowns are crucial for reducing transmission rates and preventing overwhelming healthcare systems.

However, critics highlight the economic, social and psychological consequences of lockdowns. Examining the merits and drawbacks of lockdowns is essential for policymakers and societies worldwide as they navigate the complex challenges posed by pandemics.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • enforce (verb)
  • outweigh (adjective)
  • measure (noun)
  • spread (verb)
  • effectiveness (noun)
  • harmful (adjective)
  • beneficial (adjective)
  • overall (adverb)

Conversation Questions

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  • Was there a lockdown in your country during COVID-19?
  • What are some potential benefits of implementing lockdowns during a pandemic?
  • How do lockdown measures impact different sectors of the economy and society?
  • What are some potential drawbacks or unintended consequences of lockdowns?
  • How do you think public perception and compliance with lockdown measures can influence their effectiveness?
  • How can governments balance the need to protect public health with the economic and social impacts of lockdowns?
  • Should lockdown measures be tailored to specific regions or implemented uniformly across an entire country?
  • Do lockdowns disproportionately affect vulnerable populations?
  • What alternative action do you think governments could take instead of a lockdown?
  • Should the focus be on improving healthcare capacity and implementing targeted measures rather than relying on widespread lockdowns?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.