Lockdowns in the Europe and United States “had little to no effect on coronavirus mortality” but “imposed large economic and social costs” in the areas where they were imposed, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University said in a brand new analysis published this week.
The researchers reportedly looked over two dozen unique studies done during the early stages of the pandemic in their meta-analysis and then discovered that lockdowns in the United States and Europe only lower COVID-19 mortality by around 0.2%.
Temporary quarantine orders were also discovered to be ineffective, only lowering COVID-19 mortality by around 2.9% on average, the researchers said.
The analysis was released by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Global Health, a group led by one of the analysis’ leaders, Steve H. Hanke.
Hanke, a professor at the renowned university, was also joined by Jonas Herby, who is a special advisor for Political Studies, and Lars Jonung, professor emeritus at Lund University, Sweden, in the research.
Together, they said, “We have found no evidence that school closures, lockdowns, border closures, and restrict gatherings have had any effect on COVID-19 deaths.”
Yet while lockdowns during the beginning phase of the pandemic failed to stop the spread of the deadly virus as many experts pledged, they did not impose “devastating problems” on the places that had them, the researchers said.
“They have contributed to lowering economic activity, increasing unemployment, lowering schooling, causing political problems, contributing to violence, and undermining the political system,” the researchers stated. “These costs must be compared to any possible benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are actually marginal.”
“Such a benefit-cost calculation gives us one strong conclusion: lockdowns should not be used as any pandemic policy instrument,” they said.
In fact, the only shutdown policy that could have achieved marginal success in lowering COVID deaths was restaurant and bar closures. But even in this case, the researchers said more studies were required.
This comes as Canada experiences the largest protest it has ever had as tens of thousands of truckers drive through the country to push back against lockdowns and vaccine mandates.