During the past two years and counting, our government overlords have issued an endless number of COVID mandates with a promise that the cost of a temporary loss of liberty would be small and the benefits many, but a new study shows the exact opposite to be true: the costs of COVID mandates have been high while the benefits have been few.
The Johns Hopkins University study, A Literature Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Lockdowns on COVID-19 Mortality, found government restrictions intended to slow the spread of COVID came with high economic and social costs and limited public health benefits.
Additionally, the authors of the study conclude that mandates and lockdowns should be rejected as a tool for dealing with COVID (via The Center Square):
“While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted,” the authors of the study wrote. “In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”
The analysis also found that “lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality. More specifically, stringency index studies find that lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average. [Shelter-in-place orders] were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average. Specific NPI studies also find no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality,” according to the paper. (emphasis mine)
Throughout the so-called pandemic, government has focused on COVID mortality while completely ignoring the psychological impact of their tyrannical mandates — and they’ve had help hiding these repercussions.
There has been no information delivery mechanism — news, radio, television, streaming services, social media — that hasn’t worked with government to advance the need for COVID mandates as the means to stopping the spread of the virus.
Through the use of public announcements, advisories, prohibitions, and new regulations, every aspect of our daily lives has been impacted. Everywhere we go in this life now known as the “new normal,” we see signs such as:
- Business closed due to COVID-19
- No customers allowed in lobby without proof of vaccination
- Maintain six feet distance from other shoppers
- No more than xxx number of people are allowed inside
- This shield is to maintain the safety of our employees and customers
We watched the prime-time presidential pressers — Trump and Biden — as they talked about “light at the end of the tunnel” while simultaneously doling out even more COVID mandates designed to insure the proper level of compliance from the citizenry.
COVID mandates brought financial stress, despite the endless supply of “free” money made available courtesy of multiple bailouts from the Trump administration, and they created a feeling of uncertainty in American society not seen for generations.
The amount of money poured into bailouts for big corporations far-exceeded the amount given to small business. Many corporations receiving bailout funds chose not to spend it as the government said they would (big surprise), choosing instead to use it to expand their financial portfolios and pay off debt instead of saving jobs.
In the end, bailouts were a contributing factor to the high costs of government’s COVID mandates, and they created financial uncertainty instead of security.
The Johns Hopkins University study points to COVID mandates and the uncertainty they created in several areas of society as examples of the high costs and low benefits realized from COVID mandates and lockdowns.
The study … defines lockdowns as any government mandate that restricts peoples’ possibilities.
“Our definition does not include governmental recommendations, governmental information campaigns, access to mass testing, voluntary social distancing, etc., but do include mandated interventions such as closing schools or businesses, mandated face masks, etc.,” wrote authors Jonas Herby, Lars Jonung and Hanke.
“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. Our study fails to demonstrate significant positive effects of mandated behavioral changes (lockdowns),” the authors wrote.
The analysis concluded: “The evidence fails to confirm that lockdowns have a significant effect in reducing COVID-19 mortality. The effect is little to none.”
“The use of lockdowns is a unique feature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns have not been used to such a large extent during any of the pandemics of the past century. However, lockdowns during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic have had devastating effects,” the authors wrote. “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.” (emphasis mine)
COVID mandates have also created health uncertainty, even though government repeatedly tries to assure us otherwise. It’s the unvaccinated, after all, responsible for the spread of the virus. Right, Dr. Fauci?
Of course, the greatest cost of COVID mandates has been the loss of liberty. And when you take a look at the many restrictions our government has placed on men and women who should be living in freedom, it’s easy to see the high costs and the lost benefits:
- Lockdowns (Many in Washington still support them)
- Shelter in place (CDC calls it “quarantine”)
- Police patrolling the streets and security checkpoints (vaccine passports)
- Media and communication restrictions (banning “disinformation” about COVID and vaccines)
- Quarantine detention centers (they were proposed in New York)
- Isolating those suspected of being infected with COVID (CDC has guidelines for creating “Community Isolation Centers)
Take the stress factors created by these policies, add restrictions on mobility, social interaction, community involvement, and religious interaction, and it’s easy to see the price of COVID mandates.
Protests against governments around the world have been spreading in response to living under COVID tyranny for the past two years and based on the conclusions found in the Johns Hopkins University study, I think they’re going to grow.
Between the very real psychological impact of COVID mandates and the subsequent dependence on government to provide our every need, it’s hard to believe that society will ever regain a balanced perspective — an uncertainty made more real by the understanding that government cares more about protecting government than it does protecting the people as required under the Constitution.
Two years ago, I wrote about the high costs and low benefits of COVID mandates, and how they could lead to the end of liberty and the beginning of tyranny.
As time goes by, it looks more and more like my conclusions were correct, which makes me as uncertain as I’ve ever been about the future of liberty.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.