Tag Archives: Covid-19 lockdowns

Here Comes the New Recession, by James Rickard

The second round of lockdowns will kill the economy. From James Rickard at dailyreckoning.com:

Let’s start with the basics. There’s no evidence that lockdowns work to stop the spread of coronavirus. None. This is not guesswork.

After ten months of the pandemic, we have data from more than twenty major countries around the world that have tried lockdowns in various forms. The lockdowns range from extreme (as happened in Victoria in Australia) to moderate (Sweden) to non-existent (South Dakota).

The results are striking. There was no material difference in caseloads or fatality rates regardless of what kind of lockdown was used. In some cases, an extreme lockdown reduced the spread for a short period of time. But, sooner than later, the virus returned. Lockdowns may briefly shift the caseload from one time period to another, but they do not change the total caseload over time.

Meanwhile, lockdowns kill. The lack of socialization during a lockdown leads to drastically increased rates of suicide, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other deadly behaviors. Families are being separated (at best) or torn apart (at worst) due to the separation and stress of lockdowns.

Many people with other diseases such as cancer and heart disease avoid treatment for fear of contagion in hospitals and end up dying as a result. There’s nothing wrong with simple precautions such as hand-washing, social distancing and mask-wearing, although there’s good evidence that masks don’t work either. But, those steps are low cost, and people easily adapt to them.

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Buffalo, New York Business Owners Stand Up to Cuomo Lockdown Orders; Chase Out Sheriff & Health Dept

We’ll see how long this stays up on YouTube.

Every sheriff in Los Angeles region refusing to enforce Gavin Newsom’s COVID curfew, by Thomas Lifson

If the people in charge of enforcing the law refuse to enforce stupid laws, there goes at least 84 percent of the laws. From Thomas Lifson at americanthinker.com:

Sheriffs in five Southern California counties with a total population of 17.25 million people — equivalent to the fifth most populous state — are defying that state’s governor.  They will not arrest people for violating the statewide curfew that Governor Gavin Newsom has imposed starting today, apparently on the belief that the virus wakes up and goes out at 10 P.M.

Bill Melugin of KTTV, Fox 11 in Los Angeles (hat tip: Breitbart) contacted them about enforcing the statewide curfew:

We’ve now heard from every Sheriff in our SoCal viewing area. San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura, & Riverside Counties will not actively enforce the curfew order. LA Sheriff will take a voluntary compliance/education first approach, will not make any arrests related to order @FOXLA

— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 20, 2020

Some city police departments are also demurring:

We’ve heard from the Sheriffs, we are now starting to hear from from city police departments about the curfew. Ontario and Laguna Beach PDs say they will NOT actively enforce the order, seeking voluntary compliance. Costa Mesa and Irvine PDs WILL take part in enforcement. @FOXLA

— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 20, 2020

Newsom has lost all credibility for restricting activity in the name of suppressing the spread of COVID.  He was caught and exposed flouting his own ridiculous strictures on eating in restaurants (put your mask back on between bites of food).  Public exposure of his mask-less attendance at a party full of lobbyists at one of the fanciest restaurants in the world with no social distancing was bad enough.  But his subsequent lying, smirking  non-apology apology may well be the death knell for his political career.

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Cost of Lockdowns: A Preliminary Report, by AIER staff

A long and frightening list of the costs of the lockdowns, from the AIER staff at aier.org:

In the debate over coronavirus policy, there has been far too little focus on the costs of lockdowns. It’s very common for the proponents of these interventions to write articles and large studies without even mentioning the downsides.

Here is a brief look at the cost of stringencies in the United States, and around the world, including stay-at-home orders, closings of business and schools, restrictions on gatherings, shutting of arts and sports, restrictions on medical services, and interventions in the freedom of movement.

Mental Health

Mental Health Data Source Region
During late June 2020, 40% of US adults reported to be struggling with mental health or substance abuse. CDC (June 2020) US
Of adults surveyed, 10.7% had thoughts of suicide compared to 4.3% in 2018. CDC (August 2020) US
Reported symptoms of anxiety were three times higher than they were in Q2 2019 and reported symptoms of depression were four times higher than they were in Q2 2019. CDC (August 2020) US
Of individuals aged 18-24, 25.5% considered suicide. CDC (August 2020) US
In New York alone, Google searches increased for phrases and words: anxiety, panic attack, and insomnia. JAMA (October 2020) New York
Between April and October, the portion of emergency visits related to mental health for children (5-11) increased by 24% and 31% for 12-17 year olds compared to 2019. CDC (November 2020) US
In late June, 13% of survey respondents said they had started or increased substance use to cope with the pandemic. CDC (August 2020) US
More than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality. AMA (October 2020) US
From January 2020 to March 2020, 19,416 people died from drug overdoses, which is 3,000 more than in 2019 of the same quarter. CDC (2020) US

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Even a Military-Enforced Quarantine Can’t Stop the Virus, Study Reveals, by Jeffrey Tucker

Lockdowns haven’t worked, and lockdown harder won’t work either. From Jeffrey Tucker at aier.org:

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study that goes to the heart of the issue of lockdowns. The question has always been whether and to what extent a lockdown, however extreme, is capable of suppressing the virus. If so, you can make an argument that at least lockdowns, despite their astronomical social and economic costs, achieve something. If not, nations of the world have embarked on a catastrophic experiment that has destroyed billions of lives, and all expectation of human rights and liberties, with no payoff at all.

[The earliest version of this article misstated the conditions of the control group. They were equally locked down with those who participated in the study. The difference between the two concerned testing frequency and the isolation response. This does not affect this article’s conclusion; indeed it strengthens it: even under extreme measures, the virus spread, and more so with the extra measure intended to control the virus. Nearly all infections were without symptoms.]

AIER has long highlighted studies that show no gain in virus management from lockdowns. Even as early as April, a major data scientist said that this virus becomes endemic in 70 days after the first round of infection, regardless of policies. The largest global study of lockdowns compared with deaths as published in The Lancet found no association between coercive stringencies and deaths per million.

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UK PM Meets With Bill Gates To Discuss Implementing ‘Global’ Vaccine Program, by Steve Watson

When Bill Gates and high government officials in any country get together, only good things happen, so we should all be happy. From Steve Watson at summit.news:

Boris Johnson intends to use Britain’s presidency of G7 in 2021 to implement Gates Foundation’s “global approach” to “health security”

The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, currently being criticised for imposing another lockdown based on questionable data, has met with Bill Gates to discuss implementing a global “health security” program using Britain’s G7 presidency to speed up the process.

Johnson met with Gates along with the CEOs of ten of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies to foment plans to roll out the vaccine for coronavirus.

Every CEO agreed to commit to providing “fair” access across the globe to the vaccine when it is ready.

Johnson said that the opportunity the G7 presidency in 2021 affords Britain will allow the nation to spearhead a global health plan developed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with the Wellcome Trust.

The plan was unveiled by Gates at the UN in September, where he called for  overhauling big pharma’s capacity to manufacture “vaccines and treatments.”

Johnson hailed the effort as a “new era of collaboration for problem solving,” and “pandemic preparedness,” adding that it will be a “truly global endeavor”.

The Prime Minister said that world leaders should have heeded Gates’ warnings years ago, and must now work with his Foundation to prevent “something like [Covid-19] ever happening again.”

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Lockdowns Make Time Stand Still, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

By now, coronavirus is endemic across most of the world and current tactics aren’t stopping it. In light of the disastrous consequences, how long before power-hungry government officials and scientists throw in the towel? From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

We would by now have expected the narrative surrounding COVID19 to be simpler to understand, but it’s not. We may understand much more about the disease and everything that has to do with it, but we’re finding there is so much that has been left unsaid, not discussed, neglected.

The discussion has been stuck in an All Else Being Equal (Ceteris Paribus) mode, but all things do not remain equal. It’s not even as if you get rid of the disease, all your problems go away. Not only do various COVID measures inflict huge damage on economies, on people’s jobs and incomes, they also cause entire new sets of health problems.

Epidemiologists and virologists are not equipped for such massive problems. They may be able to say the odd wise word in their field -and even that will be 90% rear-view mirror stuff, because they must compare what they see to what happened in the past-, but the disease doesn’t only affect their field. It affects many fields they have no knowledge of.

Their ideas are then taken on board by economists, not exactly the most scientific of sciences, and off go the government policies. But that was 6-7 months ago, and we learned so much since, right? By now we have involved for instance mental health experts on a large scale, right? Yeah, sure.

The point is, you can’t force lockdowns, masks etc. onto people, without looking at what the consequences of that will be. Because all things do not remain equal for 6-7 months.

A nice example comes from a July 2020 study published in the Lancet, which indicates that “..the number of smokers in a population was correlated with a 3% decrease in covid deaths.. Wow, that’s great. Let’s get everybody smoking, said … nobody. But if your sole focus is COVID19, and for many governments it is, why not? That’s of course because smoking is one thing people recognize as “bad”. But how about other things, that are not?

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It Was A Mistake To Close Schools, UK Study Concedes, by Jeffrey Tucker

Admissions of mistakes related to Covid-19 responses are as rare as honest vote counts in Democrat-run cities. From Jeffrey Tucker at aier.org:

On March 12, 2020, the memo went out from the pen of Carter Mecher, bioterrorism expert at advising the Veterans Administration. It went out to public health officials and others from around the nation. Close the schools. Pull the trigger now. And it happened, and with it, civic freedoms we have long taken for granted – freedom to travel, operate businesses, go to the movies, even leave our homes – were taken away.

They shut the schools. Then it was like dominos falling, one by one. The businesses had to close so that people could watch the kids at home. The shopping centers had to close because otherwise the kids would just gather there. The churches too. Entertainment venues were shut. Even parks closed. The stay-at-home orders followed from the school closures. In many ways, the whole legitimacy of lockdown hinged on the merit of the school closure.

A small group of pro-lockdown scientists cheered, as their decade-and-a-half-old dream of conducting such a social experiment was finally becoming a reality.

The school closures had a disproportionate effect on working women. They left their jobs to care for the kids, attempting to help them navigate the strange new world of Zoom classrooms and do assignments via email. Men stayed working in jobs as the primary breadwinners.

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England underestimates the costs of lockdown at its peril, by Jonathan Sumption

If lockdowns merely delay the coronavirus and ultimately there’s nothing you can do to stop it, then the enormous costs of lockdowns surely outweigh the scant benefits. From Jonathan Sumption at theguardian.com:

We need to think hard about whether the benefits outweigh the harm for young people and those struggling with mental health

 
University College Hospital in central London on 29 October.
University College Hospital in central London on 29 October. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Wed 4 Nov 2020 07.30 EST

Suppose there is nothing that governments can do to stop the spread of Covid-19. What then? It is not a hypothetical question, as England is discovering. “We’ve got to be humble in the face of nature,” the prime minister observed in Saturday’s Downing Street press conference. But humility learns from experience, and there was no sign of that in the measures he then went on to announce.

In my opinion, the problem with lockdowns is that they are indiscriminate, ineffective in the long term, and carry social and economic costs that outweigh their likely benefit

Lockdowns temporarily reduce infections and associated deaths. But they do so only by deferring them to the period after they are lifted. Members of the government’s Sage group pointed this out back in February. “Measures which are too effective,” they said, “merely push all transmission to the period after they are lifted, giving a delay but no substantial reduction in either peak incidence or overall attack rate.” In the meantime, these restrictions prolong the crisis, slow down the process by which the population acquires a measure of natural immunity, and cause immeasurable collateral damage. This is what we are experiencing now.

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High Times in the Plague Year: Booze & Cannabis Retailers Shine, by John McNellis

There are a few businesses doing well amid the coronavirus lockdowns. From John McNellis at wolfstreet.com:

Landlords already know this: People are getting more toasted than Wonder Bread

Happy Hour starts at 3 o’clock. Tenants selling reality-relief are killing it. I called a number of retailers to double-check my desultory anecdotal evidence. One, the owner of a first-rate supermarket chain, said his alcohol sales are up 25 percent since March. That came as no surprise, but the identity of his best-selling beer — Corona — did.

Along with half of America, I assumed that Corona was destined to become the Adolph of beer labels. Wrong. Drinkers love it — some think calling a hangover a “corona virus” is funny. This merchant said the only limitation on his Corona sales was lack of inventory. Neither he nor any other seller of liquor is asking for any rent breaks.

I called a major beer distributor in the Central Valley. Same story. Up 25 percent across the board. Any brand outselling the pack? “Honey, anything selling in a can or a bottle, our customers are buying it.”

Alcohol is easy to vet, sales are reported — no one’s cooking moonshine in their backyards. Marijuana? Let’s just say the numbers are a little cloudy. Without getting lost in the weeds, the big picture looks like this: Recreational marijuana (“rec”) consumption is up considerably this year, but precise numbers are hard to come by. Point of sale numbers for California’s legal rec were up 29 percent for the month of August.

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