Do Lockdowns Work? Mounting Evidence Says No
The coerced economic “shutdowns”—enforced with fines, arrests, and revoked business licenses—are not the natural outgrowth of a pandemic. They are the result of policy decisions taken by politicians who have suspended constitutional institutions and legal recognition of basic human rights. These politicians have instead imposed a new form of central planning based on an unproven, theoretical set of ideas about police-enforced “social distancing.”
Suspending the rule of law and civil rights will have enormous consequences in terms of human life counted in suicides, drug overdoses, and other grave health problems resulting from unemployment, denial of “elective” medical care, and social isolation.
None of that is being considered, however, since it is now fashionable to have governments determine whether or not people may open their businesses or leave their homes. So far, the strategy for dealing with the resulting economic collapse is no more sophisticated than record-breaking deficit spending, followed by debt monetization via money printing. In short, politicians, bureaucrats, and their supporters have insisted a single policy goal—ending the spread of a disease—be allowed to destroy all other values and considerations in society.
Has it even worked? Mounting evidence says no.
In The Lancet, Swedish infectious disease clinician (and World Health Organization (WHO) advisor) Johan Giesecke concluded:
It has become clear that a hard lockdown does not protect old and frail people living in care homes—a population the lockdown was designed to protect. Neither does it decrease mortality from COVID-19, which is evident when comparing the UK’s experience with that of other European countries.
At best, lockdowns push cases into the future, they do not lower total deaths. Gieseck continues:
Measures to flatten the curve might have an effect, but a lockdown only pushes the severe cases into the future—it will not prevent them. Admittedly, countries have managed to slow down spread so as not to overburden health-care systems, and, yes, effective drugs that save lives might soon be developed, but this pandemic is swift, and those drugs have to be developed, tested, and marketed quickly. Much hope is put in vaccines, but they will take time, and with the unclear protective immunological response to infection, it is not certain that vaccines will be very effective.
As a public policy measure, the lack of evidence that lockdowns work must be balanced with the fact that we have already observed that economic destruction is costly in terms of human life.
Yet in the public debate, lockdown enthusiasts insist that any deviation from the lockdown will result in total deaths far exceeding those places where there are lockdowns. So far, there is no evidence of this.
In a new study titled “Full Lockdown Policies in Western Europe Countries Have No Evident Impacts on the COVID-19 Epidemic,” author Thomas Meunier writes, “total deaths numbers using pre-lockdown trends suggest that no lives were saved by thi
Article from Mises Wire