This article caught my attention this morning.
Lockdowns have been used by most governments around the world. They are sold as effective and our only option. We are constantly told the cost of not locking down is unacceptable. This often repeated statement implies that governments have already done a rigorous cost benefit analysis of lockdowns. Nothing could be further from the truth.
No Government has ever presented a cost benefit analysis to justify lockdowns. This means they have either not been done or, they do not support the government position. Since governments have been unable or unwilling to produce this analysis, Dr. Allen has done his own. You can find his paper here.
Dr. Allen finds that lockdowns cost 282 times more than the benefit they provide but even this does not tell the whole story. It is easy to calculate the cost of the lockdowns and Dr. Allen explains his methodology. Unfortunately for Dr. Allen it is not easy determining lockdown benefits.
Dr. Allen does a literature review of papers examining lockdown effectiveness. He ignores any paper published soon after the first wave (season) of COVID. This is done with good reason. The early papers often showed large lockdown benefits but this is misleading. These papers found benefits by comparing to simulations that we now know to be faulty. Or, a benefit was found in countries where the virus simply had not taken hold before spring arrived and reduced infections naturally. More recent studies simply have more and better data to work with.
The more recent studies all come to the same conclusion. There is no correlation between lockdown severity and reduced mortality. Some studies even found that harsh lockdowns increased the number of COVID deaths. None of these academics were willing to state unequivocally that Lockdowns produced no benefits. What they did say was this. If lockdowns have a benefit it is so small that it cannot be seen in the data.
So how did Dr. Allen calculate the economic benefit of lockdowns if you can’t show that lockdowns saved any lives? If you read to the end of his paper you will find Dr. Allen was forced to assume the benefit. He assumed that deaths would have been 10% higher without lockdowns. This is a number that cannot be backed up. It seems Dr. Allen was not willing to believe the benefit was 0 or even negative. A zero benefit would have made the cost/benefit ratio infinitely large.
Academics are starting to acknowledge what a horrible mistake lockdowns are. They are all pain for little to no gain. This should make lockdowns less attractive yet Canadian politicians continue to increase restrictions. Lockdowns do not benefit the average Canadian but they must benefit Canadian Politicians. The implications of that are chilling.