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New Study: Lockdowns Didn’t Work

A little over a year ago, I wrote,

[I]t is now clear that, whatever health risks the Wuhan virus presents, they pale in comparison to the social, mental, economic, and spiritual carnage wrought by the foolish political actions—and subsequent foolish private actions—that tragically followed the Wuhan virus into the U.S. As many warned, including President Trump, for the Wuhan virus, the “cure” has indeed been worse than the disease.

In other words, most of the suffering in America today is not due to the Wuhan virus, but rather to our foolish and widespread reaction to the Wuhan virus. The shutdowns, the lockdowns, the mask mandates, and the like have done little to nothing to stem the tide of the Wuhan virus. Instead, these unwise measures have brought unprecedented suffering—including stress, debt, financial ruin, depression, illness, and death—to tens of millions of Americans.

A new “systematic review and meta-analysis” of numerous lockdown studies validates my—and many others’—conclusions. The study concludes that “lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality.” Specifically, the study, published by Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, found that “lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average. SIPOs [‘shelter in place orders’] were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average.”

Additionally, this study reveals that, while “lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.” Again, more specifically, the authors note,

The use of lockdowns is a unique feature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns have not been used to such a large extent during any of the pandemics of the past century. However, lockdowns during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic have had devastating effects. They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy. These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best. Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.

For millions of us, this study reveals nothing that we didn’t already know. We didn’t need a study to reveal what our God-given wisdom and senses had long ago made clear to us. Whether our own personal experiences, the experiences of our family and friends, or what we well know about many politicians and government bureaucrats, since at least the summer of 2020 it has been clear that not only were lockdowns largely ineffective against the Wuhan Virus, they also were a widely devastating tool that those devoted to big government were only too eager to employ and too slow to abandon.

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By Trevor Grant Thomas

At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith and Reason.
www.TrevorGrantThomas.com
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@TrevorGrantThomas.com

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Photo by Lisa Luminaire on Unsplash