FUREY: New Canadian study breaks down ‘ineffectiveness’ and harms of lockdowns

Toronto Sun

A closed store front boutique business called Francis Watson pleads for help displaying a sign in Toronto on Thursday, April 16, 2020. PHOTO BY NATHAN DENETTE /THE CANADIAN PRESS

Lockdowns are accomplishing little benefit, but colossal damage. That’s the conclusion of a research paper by Simon Fraser University Economics Professor Douglas W. Allen, who concludes «it is possible that lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in Canada’s history». Professor Allen’s paper is an examination of over 80 research papers from around the world that studied lockdowns. He found that many of them employed false assumptions, greatly overestimated the benefits of lockdowns and underestimated their harms.

Perhaps the greatest error in the reports and modelling, according to Allen, is the assumption that places without lockdowns would involve people taking zero precautions. «Lockdown jurisdictions were not able to prevent non-compliance, and non-lockdown jurisdictions benefited from voluntary changes in behavior that mimicked lockdowns,» Allen observes. Allen breaks down one report that shows «the variation in stay-at-home orders across the U. » So not only are the benefits of lockdowns negligible at best, but their harms are overwhelming. Not that Canadian officials bothered to check.

«Over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been no public evidence that either the federal or provincial governments of Canada have considered both the benefit and cost sides of their policy decisions,» the report notes. While there have been various standalone reports on lockdown harms such as job losses and mental health challenges, comprehensive studies are hard to come by. «Many of the costs will not be known for years as they work out in reduced graduation rates, reduced future earnings, and reduced long run health status,» notes Allen. Allen’s own cost/benefit analysis uses an elaborate calculation to determine how many years of lost life will have been caused by the various harms of lockdowns versus how many years of lost life were saved by lockdowns.

«The benefit of lockdown, therefore, was the avoidance of this extra 22,333 years of lost life. » Based on this calculation, the big picture long-term societal harms of lockdowns are 282 times worse than their benefits. While Canadians won’t be used to hearing about lockdowns discussed in this regard, Allen is far from the first to use this sort of calculation.

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Source: Anthony Furey | Toronto Sun 

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