Lockdowns have caused at least 36 times more harms in Australia than any benefits.

“untargeted lockdowns allowed the virus to wreak havoc since the government took its eye off the ball. Eighty per cent of the government’s effort went in “controlling” the broader society instead of focusing on aged care homes. As I will keep repeating throughout this book so no one forgets: many elderly deaths we have had could have been averted if the original pandemic plan had been followed.” –

Sanjeev Sabhlok in The Great Hysteria and The Broken State.

This paper examines whether lockdowns increase or decrease COVID deaths. The OxCGRT database2 with its Stringency Index (SI) is one of the most significant tools available today to determine whether, and to what extent, various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) “worked” to reduce COVID fatalities.

The database, however, has significant inbuilt shortcomings which hugely distort nature of NPIs and so, like with a carnival mirror, we are barely able to catch a true glimpse of reality. Studies that unquestioningly make use of it are likely to become illustrations of the well-known “garbage-in-garbage-out” adage rather than meaningful findings to inform public policy.

The SI cannot help us make the most basic distinction: between nations (basically Scandinavian nations, mainly Sweden) that took a risk-based approach from nations that did took aggressive zero-COVID approaches.

On top of this risk are studies that jumped the gun and produced “recommendations” early in the pandemic. Such studies do not take into account the different distribution of COVID deaths under the risk-based (mitigation) scenario and the zero-COVID (eradication) scenario.

The true impact only emerges over a medium to longer term, so patience is necessary to tease out the true effects of NPIs. Correcting for some of the shortcomings of OxCGT is possible with a lot of work, but another way is to try to retrieve some value from the database by using some of its components that do weakly distinguish Sweden from other nations.

The second part of the paper then uses these components to test whether lockdowns “worked” by using COVID deaths data from Worldometer. Despite the significant shortcomings of using such data on deaths, the paper finds that, on average, lockdowns increased COVID deaths. This is not the first study to show this. Regardless of whether lockdowns increase deaths, this much is conclusive: that they do not decrease COVID deaths in the medium to long-term.

The third part of the paper considers biological and behavioural concepts to explain why this might be the case.

The Herby and Hanke meta-analysis concluded that: “The evidence fails to confirm that lockdowns have a significant effect in reducing COVID-19 mortality. The effect is little to none”. It added that “lockdowns … have had devastating effects. They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy. These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best. Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument”.

This study, however, finds that there even COVID deaths tend to increase the moment lockdowns commence.

Source – http://sanjeev.sabhlokcity.com/Misc/DraftPaper-lockdowns.pdf