That’s part of the title of a report about a new study of the effectiveness of COVID-19 lockdowns. The short answer? They weren’t just ineffective, they probably made things worse. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
In a new paper, economists from the University of Southern California and the RAND Corporation examined the effectiveness of “shelter-in-place” (SIP) mandates, aka stay-at-home orders, using data from 43 countries and all 50 US states. The experts analyze not just deaths from COVID-19, but “excess deaths,” a measure that compares overall deaths from all causes to a historical baseline.
. . .
“We fail to find that shelter-in-place policies saved lives,” the authors report. Indeed, they conclude that in the weeks following the implementation of these policies, excess mortality actually increases—even though it had typically been declining before the orders took effect. And across all countries, the study finds that a one-week increase in the length of stay-at-home policies corresponds with 2.7 more excess deaths per 100,000 people.
The lockdowns simply didn’t work.
“We failed to find that countries or U.S. states that implemented SIP policies earlier, and in which SIP policies had longer to operate, had lower excess deaths than countries/U.S. states that were slower to implement SIP policies,” the authors explain.
And their finding is no outlier. A number of other credible studies have similarly concluded that lockdowns were ineffective at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Plus, other research now shows that most COVID-19 spread occurred at home, not out in the world, making stay-at-home orders all the more absurd in hindsight.
. . .
The takeaway here is not just that stay-at-home orders are an ineffective public policy. It’s that politicians will always claim they can solve our problems if just given enough centralized power.
There’s more at the link.
Note that last sentence quoted above. Read and re-read it, and then think about the public pronouncements, actions, incompetence and overweening arrogance displayed by governors such as Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, Gavin Newsom in California, Andrew Cuomo in New York, and many others. Not only did their policies and decisions help to destroy large parts of the economies of their states, they also very likely contributed, directly or indirectly, to the death of many of their citizens. The astonishing thing is that many voters in those states will still support them, because their ideological commitment trumps the truth and overrides the facts.
Bottom line: whenever a politician – any politician, from either side of the political spectrum – says “Trust me!” or “Do as I say, and everything will be all right!”, don’t you believe them. There may be some honorable exceptions to the rule (very few, I’d say), but most of them aren’t interested in us as individuals at all. They care only about their powers, privileges and position. They’ll do whatever it takes to keep them, and blame anyone and everyone but themselves for any problems. (“But we followed Dr. Fauci’s/the CDC’s/medical guidance! We weren’t to know it was bad advice!”) The buck stops anywhere but on their desk, where it properly belongs.
If that means we end up with the short end of the stick . . . well, sucks to be us, doesn’t it? (At least as far as they’re concerned.)