The damage caused by government imposed Covid restrictions and lockdowns is beginning to be quantified.
The following pair of studies suggest restrictions caused far more deaths than lives saved. If this research holds after further study, government policies increased the number of deaths during the pandemic.
7/6/23 – City Journal – Lockdowns: the Self-Inflicted Disaster – Two extensive studies describe the destruction caused by government policies.
The first is from researchers at Lund University (Sweden), Johns Hopkins, and the Center for Political Studies (Copenhagen). Researchers looked at 20,000 different studies, assessing fatality rates in relation to severity of lockdowns.
Researchers found lockdowns reduced Covid mortality by a mere 3.2%, which means there were only 4,000 avoided deaths in the US. In contrast, there are 40,000 deaths in the US from flu every year.
All the destruction to save 4,000 lives.
The second study, published by Paragon Health Institute, adjusted Covid mortality and excess mortality for risk factors in different states (i.e. states with older populations would have higher losses, states with higher rates of obesity or diabetes would also have higher mortalities). They also adjusted for the severity of lockdowns in each state.
What did they find?
There is no statistically significant impact on health from the imposed lockdowns.
California and Florida, two of the largest states, had severely different approaches to handling the pandemic.
They had the same outcomes. Same mortality rates even though California had more severe and longer lockdowns.
New York had the most stringent lockdowns, yet they had worse than average mortality. In fact, the mortality in New York with its severe lockdowns was the same as South Dakota, which had the least restrictive lockdowns. If you look at South Dakota and New York, they had the same outcomes, even though they had the the least and harshest restrictions, respectively.
Looking at those two pairs of comparisons, it is patently obvious the lockdowns had no effect on mortality. None.
What did the lockdowns accomplish?
Increased rate of smoking.
The report doesn’t mention it, but there was also an increase in drug abuse and reduced access to drug treatment programs.
All these factors resulted in an increase in the number of excess deaths from causes other than Covid. The researchers’ calculations show an extra 100,000 people died beyond what would otherwise be expected from normal trends.
What do these studies tell us?
*Severe lockdowns did no more good than mild lockdowns.
*Lockdowns saved something in the range of 4000 lives.
*Negative consequences of lockdowns caused something in the range of 100,000 excess deaths.
As I said earlier, if additional research supports these studies, that would show a ratio of 25 additional deaths caused by government lockdowns for every 1 life saved by government lockdowns.
I sarcastically suggest that is not a good trade-off.
Other negative consequences identified by the study?
States with more severe restrictions had larger declines in economic output and increased unemployment.
Children in states with more severe lockdowns lost more schooling time and those students will suffer for the rest of their life as a result.