Experts and scientists around the world are vehemently sounding the alarm that totalitarian-style government measures enacted under the guise of stopping the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic are doing more harm than COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) itself.
A paper authored by researchers from Duke, Harvard, and John Hopkins Universities and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research estimates the economic harm caused by the lockdowns will cause nearly 1 million U.S. citizens to die in the next 15 years due to increased mortality rates and decreased life expectancy.
“We estimate the size of the COVID-19-related unemployment to be between 2 and 5 times larger than the typical unemployment shock, depending on race/gender, resulting in a 3.0% increase in mortality rate and a 0.5% drop in life expectancy over the next 15 years for the overall American population.”
The paper also finds the human consequences of the economic burden caused by measures will more severely harm blacks and women, “the shock will disproportionately affect African-Americans and women, over a short horizon, while white men might suffer large consequences over longer horizons.” Researchers also noted job loss has mostly harmed “women, particularly of Hispanic heritage… foreign born individuals; less educated adults and individuals age 16-24.”
They also found “unemployment at the individual level associates with decreased health and higher mortality, regardless of aggregate unemployment rate,” and: “A surge in suicide rates has been clearly observed in unemployed individuals, particularly men.”
The U.S. unemployment rate skyrocketed from 3.8 percent in February of 2020 to 14.7 percent in April. Although that rate fell to 6.7 percent by November, the study notes the year-long unemployment rate is “comparable with the 10% unemployment rate at the peak of the 2007-2009 Great Recession and it is near the post-World War II historical maximum reached in the early 1980s (10.8%).”
Professor Phillip Thomas of Bristol University in the United Kingdom shared a similar analysis that the particularly draconian lockdowns in his country would cost the equivalent of approximately 560,000 deaths because of the “deep and prolonged recession it will cause.”
Peter Nilsson, a professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at Lund University in Sweden warned that the economic and social consequences of lockdown measures will cause more deaths than the SARS-CoV-2 itself.
“It’s so important to understand that the deaths of COVID-19 will be far less than the deaths caused by societal lockdown when the economy is ruined… Why? Because of unemployment and all the social problems with it. A bad economy will hurt and kill people in the future.”
Sweden has attracted international attention in its response to the pandemic, being virtually the only western country to not impose lockdowns and the economic destruction they bring with them to their citizens. Despite this, Sweden has a similar “R-value,” a measure of the rate of infection, to the UK.
According to data from EpiForecasts, Sweden’s “rate of growth” in the pandemic at -0.055 while most regions in the UK are -0.062 or greater.
Mikaela Rostila, a professor at the Department of Health Sciences at Stockholm University pointed out that Sweden was likely to reach herd immunity earlier than other countries without vaccination due to natural exposure to the pathogen: “Other countries that start to reopen now may experience a second wave of the virus. So it might be that they have just postponed a severe outbreak,” she said in May.
According to data from Google, Sweden, with a population of 10.23 million people, has reported 547,000 cases and 11,005 deaths since the pandemic began. By comparison, the UK with a population of 66.65 million has reported 3.62 million cases and 97,329 deaths.
In Canada, Ontario’s former Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Richard Schabas, wrote to Conservative Premier Doug Ford on January 18, saying: “Outside of Long Term Care, the risk of dying if you are infected with Covid is probably less than 0.2% overall and deaths are concentrated in the frail elderly.”
Schabas, who helped train Ontario’s doctors and was Chief of Staff at York Central Hospital during the 2003 SARS pandemic, said: “Lockdown has been used by almost every developed country and, in the great majority of cases, the lack of response speaks for itself… Lockdown was never part of our planned pandemic response, nor is it supported by strong science.”
He continued: “There are significant costs to lockdowns — lost education, unemployment, social isolation, deteriorating mental health and compromised access to health care. Lockdown is an affront to social justice because its burdens fall disproportionately on the young, the working poor, and visible minorities.”
“We will be paying for lockdown — in lives and dollars for decades to come,” said Schabas.
Conservative Ontario Member of Parliament Roman Baber also penned a letter to Ford previously, on Jan. 15, titled “The Lockdown is Deadlier than Covid.”
“The medicine is killing the patient,” said Baber, who was born and raised in the Soviet Union before moving to Israel and immigrating to Canada with his family in 1995.
His two-page letter, which is complete with 20 citations from the Ontario Ministry of Health, Canada’s far-left mainstream media, Statistics Canada, and the Center for Disease Control, asked Ford to end Ontario’s two-month running lockdown, noting backlogs at hospitals for care unrelated to the pandemic, a drug overdose rate trending 50 percent higher than normal, increased risks of suicide, eating disorders, and 320,000 people who have recently lost their jobs without being able to find new work.
Premier Ford expelled Baber from the Conservative Caucus the next day, saying: “Mr. Baber’s comments are irresponsible,” “spreading misinformation,” and “is undermining the tireless efforts of our front-line health-care workers at this critical time, and he is putting people at risk.”
Ontario, which is the largest province in Canada with 14.57 million people, has reported 746,000 cases and 19,065 deaths.