On the willful damage inflicted by our leaders in reaction to the pandemic. 2 of 2.

Destruction from earthquake. Visual description of what lockdowns did to the economy overall, public health in general, and mental health in particular. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Even though all the statistics in all the locations I’m tracking are showing a decline from the peak counts in the range of 95% to 98%, we urgently need to pay attention to constantly emerging reports of the destruction caused by government edicts.

This two-day series is mentioning only a minor fraction of the articles in recent weeks describing the devastation.

Today’s post will discuss:

  • Severe damage has been caused, only in part yet still a big part, by the inability to comprehend there are tradeoffs in every decision that has ever been made. This applies even more so to the pandemic.  As another wag pointed out: there are no solutions, only tradeoffs.
  • Yet another research analysis shows lockdowns had minimal impact on death rates yet caused extensive unemployment.

Saturday’s post described:

  • Destructive and death-causing policies continued even after evidence emerged that policies were causing harm. Liberty has been shredded.  Financial damage is widespread.
  • Educational, psychological, and social damage to children has been severe. It will take a horribly long time for kids to recover.

Behold the emerging legacy of the public health sector and our so-called political leaders:

4/19/21 – Wall Street Journal – An American Epidemic of “Covid Mania” – Op-ed by an associate professor of medicine at UCLA uses the phrase “Covid mania” as a catch-all for the loss of any semblance of risk assessment, elevation of Covid fear above every other factor, damaging the reputation of scientists and public health officials, and stating as an absolute certainty what was a mere hypothesis.

Damage to our society from the way the Covid pandemic has been handled is severe. Just a few factors highlighted in the opinion piece…

Freedom and liberty are a hallmark of the United States. That has been put on the back burner by politicians and public health officials. There will be severe cost from this.

Any semblance of risk/benefit trade-off or even asking questions on what’s the risk of a particular step has been pushed off the table.

One cited example is the demand that teenagers be vaccinated from Covid. The survival rate for teenagers is approximately 99.99%**, which should raise a very serious question on whether any risks from the vaccine are greater than the low risks of a young teenager getting infected and the extraordinarily low risk of serious illness or death.

But we cannot even ask the question of whether the possible risks are greater than the teeny tiny benefits.

** – Per San Bernardino Covid-19 dashboard on 6/6/21: 2 deaths in age 15-19; 20,634 cases age 15-19, equals mortality rate of 0.0097%, or survival rate of 99.990%, or about 1 death per 10,000 youth in that age range who actually get sick.

What does that trade-off of risk and benefit look like for various ages?

  • It is such a lopsided calculation to vaccinate for someone in their 80s.
  • It is a fairly easy decision in favor of vaccination for someone in their 50s or 60s.
  • There are grounds for debate with someone in their 30s.
  • We should seriously pause to get definitive answers before we start vaccinating teenagers.

Article says Covid mania has “wreaked havoc” on science research and its influence on public policy.

Let me rephrase that…The actions we have seen from public health officials at the federal and state level has shredded their credibility. Politicians demanding we follow the (unproved) “science” and then ignoring it at will has turned much of the political class into a laughing stock.

At some point we may wish the public health sector had not destroyed every shred of their credibility because someday they may have something serious to say that is actually true.

Article closes by saying that policies and actions which were driven by “Covid mania” have made damage from the pandemic worse and is delaying the time when we can get back to a normal life.

6/4/21 – Foundation for Economic Education – MIT Data Scientist: Lockdowns Not Correlated With Fewer Deaths (But Are Correlated With More Unemployment) – Rapidly growing number of research reports are showing the strong lockdowns did little if anything to reduce Covid deaths and instead caused serious harm.

Article has extensive links to other reports showing no benefit for plenty of harm.

Research discussed in this article found that the heavy government restrictions did not correspond to a lower mortality from Covid. Instead restrictions correlated to increased unemployment.

Output of research is a two-dimensional graph which charts the death tally in each state on the x-axis and the unemployment rate on the y-axis.

There is not a perfect correlation but the visibly strong relationship is the “blue” states had a broad spread of death rates but generally were above average in rising unemployment. The “red” states show a dispersion of death rates but dramatically lower unemployment rates than “blue” states. The “purple” states also showed dispersion of death rates and with close to average unemployment increase.

Article closes with a comment that a growing volume of data is showing stay-at-home orders caused trouble yet lockdowns did little if anything to reduce the spread.

Damages caused by the lockdown mentioned in the article include:

  • Economic devastation with millions of people losing their job and hundreds of thousands of businesses closed
  • Out-of-control spending
  • Growing debt
  • Increasing poverty
  • Increase in drug overdoses
  • Declining mental health
  • Skipped health screenings will lead to large number of excess deaths over the next several years

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