TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Thursday, Jan 26, 2023

Lockdowns virtually useless in curbing Covid-19 deaths, study claims

Lockdowns virtually useless in curbing Covid-19 deaths, study claims

A meta-analysis suggested mandating social distancing was ineffective during the first wave of the pandemic
Compulsory social distancing measures, touted to the public as necessary to fight back the spread of Covid-19, did not have any significant effect on mortality rates during the first wave of the disease, a new study said. Policymakers could have just trusted people to act rationally and responsibly and take precautions without any mandates.

The striking conclusion was made after a meta-analysis study of 24 scientific papers, which was described by a team of researchers led by Professor Steve H. Hanke, who co-directs the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.

They wanted to see if there was empirical evidence that lockdowns – compulsory government policies on things like freedom of domestic and international movement, business operations or public gatherings – prevented deaths from Covid-19. The answer was no, according to the paper.

They wrote that “lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced Covid-19 mortality by 0.2% on average.” For the more restrictive ‘shelter-in-place-orders’ the same metric averaged 2.9%.

Studies of specific measures like school lockdowns or border closures were somewhat inconclusive, there was “no broad-based evidence” in favor. Forced closures of businesses may have been beneficial for mortality rates, probably because they forced bars and restaurants to shut down.

There was also some evidence that mask mandates had significant positive effects. But only two studies that qualified for the meta-analysis dealt with such measures, and one of them only looked into the effect of compulsory face cover for employees, so researchers were not certain about masks.

“Overall, we conclude that lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic, at least not during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the researchers said.

The assessment is in line with what a team at the World Health Organization said in 2006 about the public response to the 1918 influenza pandemic as well as some other similar studies. A different meta-analysis study conducted in 2020 by Nadya Johanna of the University of Indonesia contrasted with the research, which Hanke and colleagues attributed to a different approach for selecting the underlying materials.

The researchers stressed that they didn’t try to explain why lockdowns wouldn’t work, but suggested several possible factors. The first one is that people react to dangerous situations regardless of government mandates, taking precautions when infection rates surge and ignoring rules when the rates go down.

Some non-pharmaceutical interventions are hard to mandate in the first place, like hand-washing and keeping a distance at supermarkets. And in some cases lockdowns may have unintended negative consequences. Banning people from relatively safe open public spaces and forcing them to spend all their time at home with family, who may be asymptomatic and infectious, is one example, the researchers said.

“In the early stages of a pandemic, before the arrival of vaccines and new treatments, a society can respond in two ways: mandated behavioral changes or voluntary behavioral changes,” the paper said. “Our study fails to demonstrate significant positive effects of mandated behavioral changes (lockdowns). This should draw our focus to the role of voluntary behavioral changes.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
Close
0:00
0:00
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
British PM Rishi Sunak pledges further action on strikes to 'protect lives'
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman.
Double standards: UK lawmakers attack EU chief over Ireland claims
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Mission Improbable: Tom Cruise & Queen Elizabeth
Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico are not single anymore
Matt Hancock is back to the jungle
×