New study: Lockdowns destroy nearly twice as many years of life as the coronavirus

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Four professors with backgrounds ranging from medicine to economics attempted to quantify the number of lives lost from the devastation of the lockdown itself

Using health and labor data as well as various actuarial tables, they projected 65,000 lives lost per month of lockdown in the U.S. – greater than the loss from the virus. That number was calculated by dividing the estimated $1.1 trillion lost from economic productivity per month of lockdown by $17 million because the best estimates predict one life lost from suicide, alcohol or drug abuse, or stress-induced illnesses per $17 million lost.

“These financial losses have been falsely portrayed as purely economic,” wrote the four professors in The Hill on Monday. “To the contrary … we calculate that these policies will cause devastating non-economic consequences that will total millions of accumulated years of life lost in the United States, far beyond what the virus itself has caused.”

The four authors were Scott Atlas of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, John Birge of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Ralph Keeney of Duke University, and Alexander Lipton of the Jerusalem Business School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

For every 1,000 lives lost to the virus, the corresponding 1,000 lives lost to the lockdown will destroy exponentially more “life years,” because the median age of those who die from the virus is 80, while the median age for deaths caused by the lockdown – those who die due to suicide, substance abuse, despair, and poverty – is much lower.

We have already seen that doctors in Northern California are reporting more than a year’s worth of suicides in just four weeks. Knox County, Tennessee, experienced nine suicides in just one 48-hour period in March. On the other hand, there have only been five COVID-19 deaths in Knox County over nine weeks!

Also, the death toll of the economic consequences of the shutdown is just one piece of the pie. As the authors note, stroke patient evaluations are down 40%, nearly half of cancer patients have missed treatments, two-thirds to three-fourths of routine cancer screenings have been delayed, nearly 85% fewer living-donor transplants have occurred, and more than half of childhood vaccinations are not being performed. They estimate that the total years of lost life per month of shutdown from these missed treatments and diagnosis are 500,000! In total, they estimate that the lockdown, over its entire duration, has caused the loss of 1.5 million life years, as compared to 800,000 life years from the virus itself. – READ MORE

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