Forced lockdowns led to large death rates, according to new research.
A recent scientific study shows how disastrous COVID-19 lockdowns have been. A meta-analysis led by economist Steve Hanke and published by Johns Hopkins University found that lockdowns have significantly impacted COVID-19 mortality and that the spread of the virus primarily occurred in household settings during quarantine mandates. The study also found that the economic and social costs of lockdowns have been devastating and extra deaths were caused as a result of these secondary effects.
Another study previously found that quarantine mandates had a substantial effect on non-COVID causes of death, including heart disease, diabetes, and drug-induced fatalities, with an excess of 97,000 deaths from April 2020 through 2021. The study also found that drug deaths reached 108,000 in 2021 and that mortality from all causes was elevated by 26% for working-age adults as compared to 18% for the elderly. This data suggests that times of quarantine led to a historic, yet largely unacknowledged, public health emergency.
The authors write, “Summing our estimates across causes and age groups, we estimate 171 000 excess non-COVID deaths through the end of 2021 plus 72,000 unmeasured COVID deaths.” The Economist has assembled nationwide mortality data from around the world and obtains a similar U.S. estimate, which is 199,000 (including any unmeasured COVID) or about 60 deaths per 100,000 people. For the European Union as a whole, the estimate is near-identical at 64 non-COVID excess deaths per 100,000. In contrast, the estimate for Sweden is −33, meaning that non-COVID causes of death were low. “We suspect that some of the international differences are due to the standard used to designate a death as COVID, but perhaps also Sweden’s result is related to minimizing the disruption of its citizen’s normal lifestyles,” the authors cited.
The U.S. began implementing quarantine mandates in response to the pandemic in March 2020. California was the first state to initiate mandates on March 19th, with other states and cities soon following suit. During the peak of the restrictions in April 2020, approximately 310 million people were affected.
One of the most devastating effects of the lockdowns has been on mental health. Prolonged isolation within one’s home resulted in increases in rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. Furthermore, the closure of businesses and the loss of jobs led to financial stress and insecurity, exacerbating existing mental health issues.
The lockdowns have also had a significant impact on education. With schools closed, many students had to learn remotely, which was particularly challenging for low-income students and students with special needs. Research also revealed that the cessation of extracurricular activities and sports programs continues to damage healthy social and emotional development of students.
The prolonged closures of non-essential businesses have resulted in a significant loss of revenue, causing small businesses to shut down and unemployment rates to soar. Low-income communities were hit particularly hard as the loss of jobs led to additional financial insecurity and even poverty.
Many believe those responsible for implementing lockdowns must be held accountable for the damage they caused because it is clear that the negative effects of the lockdowns outweighed any potential benefits.