What if lockdowns become far more deadly than Covid-19?: Before we get into today's even more contentious opinion piece, I'd like to introduce you to someone who is no stranger to controversy.
Sam Volkering first introduced me to bitcoin in 2012, when the price was around $10 rather than $60,000 or $30,000. Despite this, all attention has been focused on the most recent drop rather than the vast amount of wealth created by the initial boom.
Many price drops occurred along the way. And Sam nagged me to buy each time. But then, one day, he came to a halt. Instead, I said this.
Oh my goodness. We're on shaky ground today.
But, at the very least, we haven't been frozen in place, as so many others have been over the last two years. The Office for National Statistics confirms this fact (ONS), 1,549 people under the age of 65 died solely from Covid-19 in England and Wales in 2020.
Wait for a second… That is fewer than the number of motor vehicle fatalities in 2019!
TURN OFF THE TRAFFIC!
But, seriously, if only 1,549 people under the age of 65 died due to Covid-19 in 2020, is that a good enough reason to quarantine all healthy people under the age of 65?
If you believe this, perhaps you should avoid driving altogether.
This information was obtained through the use of a Freedom of Information Act request, which is part of the problem.
But hold on, there's more.
The average age of death from Covid-19 in England and Wales was 82.5 years, higher than the national life expectancy.
Keep in mind that, given the number of years of life before 82.5 and the number of years after, this implies that far more than half of the deaths occurred after the age of 82.5.
To summarise, this is not an epidemic that necessitates using a belt and braces, the inclusion of a kitchen sink, and the dispersal of baby and bathwater.
It's just a new illness. It is, without a doubt, a severe and dangerous one for a segment of our population. However, a specific subset required our protection, not the entire country.
Those with co-morbidities should have been protected. Those who chose to isolate themselves should have been encouraged to do so. But shutting down the rest of the country, including its health-care system, seems like a bad idea.
It may appear cruel to suggest isolating only vulnerable people at this time. And I agree, which is why it should have been done voluntarily. However, locking down the rest of the country is even worse than locking down a portion of it.
As if all of this wasn't extreme enough, here's the genuine concern: the consequences of the lockdowns could far outweigh Covid-19's toll.
Here's some context from the July 2021 issue of the European Journal of Cancer:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, significant delays in cancer diagnosis occurred. Three thousand six hundred twenty avoidable cancer deaths have been predicted for four significant cancers in England, accounting for roughly 40% of the total burden.
In other words, lockdown-related but otherwise avoidable cancer deaths from the top four cancers alone are estimated to have killed roughly the same number of people as Covid-19 killed otherwise healthy people under the age of 65 up until the third quarter of 2021.
Who is more significant? A cancer patient in need of care, or someone who is barely at risk of Covid-19, but who has the option to isolate? Because politicians decided that the country needed to go into lockdown, abandoning so many people seeking care for health issues other than Covid-19, rather than continuing care and isolating only the most vulnerable.
However, the cost of lockdowns is only beginning. This is an excerpt from the Journal of Social and Economic Development:
Around 71 million people will be pushed into poverty as a result of the pandemic, according to estimates from the World Bank (World Bank 2020). World Food Programme estimates that an additional 130 million people may be food insecure, and the United Nations has declared a food emergency imminent.
This is from the United Nations Global Compact:
COVID-19 has killed hundreds of thousands of people in recent months. However, as the health crisis becomes economical, funding shortages and supply chain issues may cause millions more people to starve.
This is from the New York Post in 2021: “The data shows that lockdowns kill more people than they save.”
“There's a reason no government has done a cost-benefit analysis: the policy would almost certainly fail,” writes the Wall Street Journal.
And so forth; you get the picture.
The consequences of lockdowns will be felt for a long time. And, collectively, I believe they will outweigh Covid-19 by a wide margin.
The real issue is one of accountability. Will those who made these decisions be held responsible for the consequences?
It must be made clear that we had a choice. We could have protected those vulnerable to Covid-19 while the rest of us kept society running in ways that did not result in poverty, starvation, or chaos for years.
The idea that you can impose global lockdowns without killing millions of people is terrifyingly arrogant. It is not acceptable that our developed-economy societies could afford it and that those deaths are not recorded in ONS statistics.
The good news is that the Western world is finally getting what it deserves: empty shelves, food shortages, skyrocketing inflation, and cold, dark winter with insufficient heating. This is what we have served to the majority of the world for the past two years.
Editor, Fortune & Freedom
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