…at least in terms of deaths, according to researchers at the University of Southern California and the RAND Corporation. Lockdowns are also referred to as shelter-in-place orders, which were implemented with the mistaken idea they would reduce deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic. Note that viruses can kill, but so can lockdowns via social isolation, loss of jobs/income, delayed or no treatment for non-virus illness, etc. The study at hand looked data generated by 43 countries and all U.S. states.
“…the implementation of shelter-in-place policies [SIP] does not appear to have met the aim of reducing excess mortality [deaths]. There are several potential explanations for this finding. First, it is possible that SIP policies do not slow COVID-19 transmission. As discussed earlier, prior studies find only a modest effect of SIP policies on mobility. A potential reason for the modest impact on mobility may be that individuals change behavior to avoid COVID-19 risk even in the absence of SIP policies. It is also unclear whether modest reductions in mobility could slow the spread of an airborne pathogen. Second, it is possible that SIP policies increased deaths of despair due to economic and social isolation effects of SIP policies. Recent estimates in the U.S between March and August 2020 show that drug overdoses, homicides, and unintentional injuries increased in 2020, while suicides declined. Third, existing studies suggest that SIP policies led to a reduction in non-COVID-19 health care, which might have contributed to an increase in non-COVID-19 deaths. For example, one study in the United Kingdom predicts that there will be approximately an additional 3,000 deaths within five years due to a delay in diagnostics because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”Reference: https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w28930/w28930.pdf?utm_campaign=PANTHEON_STRIPPED&%3Butm_medium=PANTHEON_STRIPPED&%3Butm_source=PANTHEON_STRIPPED
The write-up at the Foundation for Economic Freedom may be more digestible for you.
Steve Parker, M.D.
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