Sunday, January 10, 2021

Lockdown Harms 10x Greater Than Benefits?

I'm in no way convinced this is true, but I'm rather fed up with progressives deploying their now all-purpose "follow the science" line on it when it seems clear to me that the case for lockdowns is unproven. And in the absence of proof, f*ck your lockdowns.
   I'm among those who fear Americans are turning into sheep. If it weren't happening intellectually, politically and culturally I might not worry about it too much in this context. But it is, so I do. I really am willing to do my part for the public good. But I'm not willing to be bossed around by bullshitters. Neither should you be.
First, some background into the cost-benefit analysis. I discovered information I was not aware of before. First, framing decisions as between saving lives versus saving the economy is a false dichotomy. There is a strong long-run relationship between economic recession and public health. This makes sense, as government spending on things like healthcare, education, roads, sanitation, housing, nutrition, vaccines, safety, social security nets, clean energy, and other services determines the population well-being and life-expectancy. If the government is forced to spend less on these social determinants of health, there will be ‘statistical lives’ lost, that is, people will die in the years to come. Second, I had underestimated the effects of loneliness and unemployment on public health. It turns out that loneliness and unemployment are known to be among the strongest risk factors for early mortality, reduced lifespan, and chronic diseases. Third, in making policy decisions there are trade-offs to consider, costs and benefits, and we have to choose between options that each have tragic outcomes in order to advocate for the least people to die as possible.
In the cost-benefit analysis I consider the benefits of lockdowns in preventing deaths from COVID-19, and the costs of lockdowns in terms of the effects of the recession, loneliness, and unemployment on population wellbeing and mortality. I did not consider all of the other so-called ‘collateral damage’ of lockdowns mentioned above. It turned out that the costs of lockdowns are at least 10 times higher than the benefits. That is, lockdowns cause far more harm to population wellbeing than COVID-19 can. It is important to note that I support a focused protection approach, where we aim to protect those truly at high-risk of COVID-19 mortality, including older people, especially those with severe co-morbidities and those in nursing homes and hospitals.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home