Skip to main content

The Damage from the Epidemic Response

By May 31, 2023Commentary

I am going to take credit for being way ahead of the disproportionate damage that would be caused by the CV-19 response compared to the virus itself.  Early in the response, very early, I actually took out ads in the Strib decrying shutdowns, school closures and lockdowns as economic suicide and socially destructive, expecially to children.  I have never let up on the theme, which has now, far too late, become majority opinion.  Here is a significant piece of research examining the potential negative effects of the response.  The author synthesizes over 600 pieces of research to identify the primary areas of response damage.  The obvious conclusion is that the response did more damage than the epidemic.  In particular, for most countries their fiscal situation has dramatically worsened, educational opportunities diminished, mental health worsened, non-CV-19 deaths increased and health status generally declined, poor health behaviors (drug and alcohol use, lack of exercise, bad diet, e.g.) rose.  And of course, low-income persons were most affected.   (SSRN Paper)

The author correctly notes that public health officials, and politicians, are far too optimistic about the impact of the restrictions they enact and greatly underweight the negative impacts.  I have said repeatedly that our leaders consistently ignored the broader public health ramifications of their actions.  I encourage you to read the paper in its entirety, although it is long.  It is very thought-provoking and puts forth an appropriate manner of examining the issues.   I won’t believe anything has changed, however, until we see actual laws passed that prevent the kind of authoritarian response we saw during the epidemic.

Leave a comment