We’re sure to see many studies about the lunacy of lockdowns.

Johns Hopkins is an early example:

A new working paper from Johns Hopkins University’s “Studies in Applied Economics” institute claims that COVID-19 lockdowns imposed by a variety of governments worldwide had “little to no effect” on COVID-19 mortality. The study, conducted by three professors from around the world, also found that lockdowns “imposed enormous economic and social costs” and are “ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

Interestingly, by the study’s definition — “the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention” — Rhode Island is still be considered in lockdown, because the definition includes mandatory polices such as face masks.  That’s just crazy.

Another point worth emphasizing is the dividing line between the “experts” and what many of us have been suggesting all along.  The study notes that the infamous Imperial College London models that kicked off the global panic “predicted that a suppression strategy based on a lockdown would reduce COVID-19 mortality by up to 98%.”  What a joke.  Yet, people still listen to Imperial College and, inexplicably, still have faith in expert predictions.  They’re like primitive people still clinging to some talisman that has proven not to work, but which is the only comfort they have.

Here’s an important caveat:  the definition of “lockdowns” does not include recommendations or guidance.  That is the role that government should take, as well as provisions to make good decisions easier to make.

So, we return to the prescription that some of us made way back in early days.  What we should have done — and what we can still do — is take measures to protect especially vulnerable populations, keep people well informed about the latest findings in a trustworthy, credible way so they can make good decisions, help to fill in resources gaps so people can make their good decisions free from practical fears, and then get back to normal life.

Will the virus still do harm?  Yes.  Will variants arise and change calculations?  Probably.  But the alternative is pretending to do something more effective while doing incredible economic harm to the global economy, ecological harm to the planet, psychological harm to people around the planet, and developmental harm to younger generations.


Featured image by Sebastiaan Stam on Unsplash.

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