On Twitter, author and attorney Michael P. Senger put together a well-sourced thread on the consequences of lockdowns. To be transparent, he is openly anti-lockdown and believes the lockdowns are a consequence of Chinese Communist Party propaganda to harm other nations. While the intentions of the CCP are debatable, the China threat to the United States and the West generally is not. Recently this was confirmed in a speech from a Chinese professor of economics and an editorial from America’s Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe.
First, even if the virus was not designed as a bioweapon, the CCP used it like one. The CCP halted travel from Wuhan to the rest of China but continued to let Wuhan residents fly to the rest of the world. Second, the CCP has not allowed independent investigations into the origin of the virus and showsits reticence to do so by punishing nations like Australia for signing on to demand one.
Senger’s thread details some of the horrifying results of lockdowns that have not been widely reported in the corporate media. However, they go directly to the assertion of President Trump and medical professionals like Dr. Scott Atlas and Dr. Jay Battacharya that it is certain the draconian measures some states and cities have taken may well cost us more in lives, quality of life, and livelihoods than COVID-19.
Senger notes the loss of small businesses, a major source of employment for Americans. He notes a Yelp study from September that reported 97,966 businesses had closed permanently. The true number is likely higher, considering continued lockdowns in several states. Black-owned small businesses have been particularly hard hit, with nearly 50% of them closing for good as of August.
Obviously, this has affected employment. While numbers from the Department of Labor show unemployment declining, the hidden cost is those who have abandoned seeking a job altogether. Tucker Carlson reported on December 11th that during November alone, approximately 500,00 people stopped looking. They are not included in the unemployment numbers. He also noted there are roughly 10 million fewer jobs available than there were just a year ago.
The downstream effects of this are lines at food pantries, hunger, longer-term homelessness, and family disintegration. However, as Senger notes, the effects on citizens’ mental health and well-being, particularly children, might be the most devastating long-term effects of all.
Gen Z, those 23 and younger, report the common symptoms of depression at a rate of 70%. Suicide rates have jumped to unprecedented levels around the world. Suicidality in children is even reaching record levels in some areas of the United States. In a global survey, 65% of parents reported their children had struggled with boredom and feelings of isolation.
The lockdowns also harm cognitive development, in addition to mental health. The results don’t just include poor learning or test scores due to distance learning. Studies have reported actual regression from developmental milestones, like potty training, basic number recognition, and the ability to use silverware in young children. In older children eating disorders and self-harm are increasing. In Ireland alone, officials report the rate of rape and child sexual abuse has nearly doubled during the pandemic. In the U.K., a study found a 1,493% increase in the incidence of abusive head trauma.
Young adults age 25-44 saw the largest jump in excess deaths, according to the CDC, at 26.5%. This age group accounts for fewer than 3% of COVID-19 deaths. Overall, there have been 100,947 excess deaths this year that are not linked to COVID-19. One example is the failure to thrive among nursing home patients who stop eating and decline in the imposed isolation. Opioid-related deaths have also increased in 40 states.
Stenger’s list of tragic impacts goes much deeper into the risk for global famine and other horrific details. However, most of what he has cited in the U.S. and the rest of the West is happening to people who have a near-zero chance of having a deadly outcome from COVID-19. Research even supports the fact that children under 10 do not usually suffer from or transmit the disease.
Yet lockdown policies are ruining their mental and physical health. Physical activity among children over the age of 10 has declined by 50%. The long-term health effects of being more sedentary won’t be calculated for years. The long-term impact of childhood depression and anxiety will have deleterious effects on society in general. And young people are dying at increased rates not attributable to the virus.
Researchers should assess these outcomes in states that opened and stayed that way, like Georgia and Florida, and those that have extended severe lockdowns — especially the effects on children. It is possible young people who weathered the pandemic in open states will have significant advantages over their locked-down peers as time goes on.
The media likes to attribute these tragedies to the pandemic. However, they actually result from political leaders’ public policy decisions about how to handle the pandemic. Without a statistical difference in total positive tests or mortality due to COVID-19 between states that locked down and those that did not, public policy in some states is actually prioritizing what you can die from. Clearly, it is acceptable to die of anything but COVID-19.