According to a serious study on the effects of the widespread COVID lockdowns, the economic destruction was high, but the health benefits were nearly non-existent.
According to researchers at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the lockdowns were very successful in destroying jobs, business, and wealth. But did almost nothing to stop the spread of COVID, the Washington Examiner reported.
The study excluded Hawaii and Alaska because they are isolated enough that lockdowns could not be easily measured, but for the rest of the contiguous states, the verdict is clear: lockdowns were useless as a health measure.
Ultra-locked-down Hawaii had the best CDC COVID-19 mortality and all-cause mortality numbers. But the numbers for other states tended to be clustered in a narrow range. Among the largest states, North Carolina, California, and Florida fared pretty well, while New York and New Jersey, whose governors sent COVID-19-infected patients into senior citizen centers, had high COVID-19 mortality.
Overall, the three economists conclude, “excluding the geographically unusual cases of Hawaii and Alaska … there is no apparent relationship between reduced economic activity during the pandemic and our composite mortality measure.” The disease, easily transmissible and often asymptomatic, spread mostly regardless of restrictions, killing many, three-quarters of them over age 65, before vaccination became near-universal — and fewer afterward.
As for school closures, Mulligan, Moore, and Kerpen write they “did have a moderate correlation with our mortality measure, but based on the literature we do not believe this relationship was causal.” Death rates among children have been almost zero, and few teachers and school employees are over 65.
However, evidence beyond the ambit of this report shows a devastating effect on children from lockdowns in unionized public schools. COVID-19 restrictions “have had a devastating effect on learning,” according to the Brookings Institution, and children’s rates of mental illness and suicide threats have skyrocketed.
The facts seem to show what anyone with a modicum of sense knew at the start.
Locking down a society after an illness was already measurable does absolutely nothing to prevent the spread of something that has already spread.Commentary coronavirus COVID Econom Lockdowns