Lockdowns Have Been a Disaster

(John Hinderaker) By any sensible calculation, the principal worldwide covid damage has come not from the virus, but from governments’ efforts to suppress it, principally through lockdowns. Dr. Ari Joffe attempts to quantify that disproportion.

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Dr. Joffe uses an approach that quantifies “Quality Adjusted Life Years” to weigh the benefits and costs of global covid shutdowns. Using that methodology, he concludes that the costs of shutdowns have exceeded the benefits by at least ten to one. He also notes that “Various cost-benefit analyses from different countries, including some of these costs, have consistently estimated the cost in lives from lockdowns to be at least five to 10 times higher than the benefit, and likely far higher.”

Source: Lockdowns Have Been a Disaster

On the Reaction to Covid-19

(Don Boudreaux) Tweet Here’s a letter to a new correspondent: Ms. Tolbert: I did indeed see my friend and former colleague Omar Al-Ubaydli’s recent op-ed decrying what he believes to be humanity’s under- estimation of the seriousness of Covid-19.

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First, as I read the evidence, it tells me three things: (1) lockdowns do not work to reduce Covid deaths; (2) lockdowns fuel other health problemsincludingones that are fatal; (3) lockdowns create enormous economic hardships for hundreds of millions of people.

If lockdowns actually reduce Covid deaths, we could discuss how to trade-off the benefits of lockdowns against their costs, keeping in mind that Covid victims are not the only persons who suffer and deserve compassion. But because lockdowns don’t even achieve their stated purpose, I simply don’t see how protesting these draconian measures reveals a lack of compassion.

Source: On the Reaction to Covid-19

Nails, Pencils, and Chains by Vicki

For want of a nail, a shoe was lost;

For want of a shoe, a horse was lost;

For want of a horse, a rider was lost;

For want of a rider, a message was lost;

For want of a message, a battle was lost;

For want of a battle, a kingdom was lost;

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Wikipedia says that proverb is many centuries old. It’s usually repeated as a cautionary tale. Do all your tasks well, keep everything clean and neat and well-maintained, don’t get sloppy, or bad things will happen. But it can also be read another way: a little problem that no one noticed, that very few people even could have noticed, leads to a big problem for everyone.

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There are a lot of jobs that have been deemed “essential” in the current situation, and a lot more that have been deemed “non-essential.” Some of those non-essential jobs are in factories, which are shut down and not making more stuff. Any stuff we’re using from those factories is coming from inventory.

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It turns out that, on a long enough timescale, almost every legal job that touches “stuff” is essential, and that timescale is not as long as some politicians seem to think. Most of the jobs that touch money are essential, too, because stuff doesn’t move without matching moves of money. Most of the rest are essential as well, if only for the mental health of the workers in the first two categories. People are people, not molding machines.

Source: Nails, Pencils, and Chains by Vicki