By Kevin Roche
Be interesting to see if we learn anything about how to deal with future epidemics from the disastrous response to this one. The research is very clear that lockdowns, for example, which were never used before, did not slow transmission or improve outcomes. More evidence piled up this week. First, a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research on the effect of the lockdowns. This is getting to be old hat, because once more we see that they certainly didn’t prevent deaths, from CV-19 or from other causes. (NBER Paper) The findings from this paper are quite startling in their rejection of any beneficial effect of “shelter in place” or lockdown policies on mortality.
The authors start by noting that even prior to lockdown orders, individuals had voluntarily changed behaviors, so the issue is what incremental value, if any, was created by the orders. And they note that these shelter-in-place orders can cause adverse effects to health and increase mortality through a variety of mechanisms. The effect of the orders was assessed in 43 countries and all 50 US states, with the primary outcome of interest being excess deaths from all causes. And the headline finding was that not only did shelter-in-place orders not reduce excess deaths, they may have increased them. There was a slightly different pattern internationally and in the US. Overseas, the excess deaths increased after lockdowns were ordered and stayed above predicted levels. In the US, excess deaths increased at first, but then declined after about 20 weeks. In the countries with lockdowns, excess deaths had been trending downward prior to the lockdown, then reversed course. In the US, there was no pre-existing trend prior to lockdown.
The second is an article which lays bare the pathetic rationale and bad thought processes behind lockdowns. (Frontiers Article) The author, who initially supported lockdowns, summaries the lack of efficacy of lockdowns and the multiple harms inflicted by them. His conclusion is that lockdowns damaged the population’s well-being far more than the epidemic did and that our supposed leaders failed to act in the best interest of all the people.
Let’s be clear. The lockdowns weren’t adopted on the basis of any scientific research. It was pure panic and herd mentality from our political leaders and health care experts. They were idiots and they should admit their idiocy, so that we don’t repeat the same mistake in the future.