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The Evidence Keeps Piling Up: Lockdowns Don’t Work

(Ryan McMaken, Mises Institute) The toll lockdowns have taken on human life and human rights has been incalculable. Increases in child abuse, suicide, and even heart attacks, all appear to be a feature of mandatory stay-at-home orders issued by politicians who now rule by decree without any legislative or democratic due process.

And then, of course, there is the economic toll on employment, and which will feed negative impacts into the longer term. The economic burden has fallen the most on the young, and on working class families where earners are least able to work from home.

These measures also have made a mockery of basic human rights while essentially expropriating private property. Mom-and-pop business owners were told to shut their doors indefinitely, or face arrest. The unemployed were told it was now illegal to work for a living if their careers were deemed “nonessential.” Police officers have beaten citizens for not “social distancing” while mothers are manhandled by cops for attempting to use playground equipment.

This was all done because some politicians and bureaucrats—who were in no danger of losing their large paychecks—decided it was a great idea to carry out a bizarre and risky experiment: forcing large swaths of the population to stay at home in the name of preventing the spread of disease…

Not surprisingly, then, it’s now becoming apparent that lockdowns don’t work when actually tried. Earlier this month, for example, Donald Luskin noted in the Wall Street Journal:

Measuring from the start of the year to each state’s point of maximum lockdown—which range from April 5 to April 18—it turns out that lockdowns correlated with a greater spread of the virus. States with longer, stricter lockdowns also had larger Covid outbreaks. The five places with the harshest lockdowns—the District of Columbia, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts—had the heaviest caseloads.

Basically, Luskin searched for a clear correlation between lockdowns and better health outcomes in relation to covid-19. He found none. He continues:

It could be that strict lockdowns were imposed as a response to already severe outbreaks. But the surprising negative correlation, while statistically weak, persists even when excluding states with the heaviest caseloads. And it makes no difference if the analysis includes other potential explanatory factors such as population density, age, ethnicity, prevalence of nursing homes, general health or temperature. The only factor that seems to make a demonstrable difference is the intensity of mass-transit use.

In fact, the overall trend of infection and death appears to be remarkably similar across many jurisdictions regardless of what nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are taken by policymakers.

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