Report Proves That Lockdowns Were Completely Ineffective

A new report claims that lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic were ineffective and, in some respects, caused more harm than good. A study by the University of Oxford in the UK declared that lockdowns in Britain had approximately the same impact as the Swedish approach – allowing people to regulate their behavior in response to the threat.

Sweden was unique among European nations and the only one to rule out compulsory shutdowns. In the United States, measures varied from state to state, and it was left to individual governors to decide whether to impose lockdowns and what would be affected. Some states imposed complete shutdowns and introduced stay-at-home orders, often leading to catastrophic economic outcomes.

For example, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska had some of the best economic recoveries post-pandemic and some of the least restrictive policies. Republican leaders were far less likely to impose lockdowns or mask mandates, and Democrat states fared worse economically. The ten states with the highest virus-related unemployment and bankruptcy rate were all Democrat-led.

Referring to decisions to lock down, or otherwise, at the beginning of the crisis, Jason Straczewski, vice president of government relations and political affairs for the National Retail Federation, said, “You basically had winners and losers chosen early in the pandemic.”

In the Oxford study, researchers used data from 416,000 residents of New York City and mixed in several different scenarios to see how these would affect figures. It found that allowing people to regulate their own behaviors reduced death figures by 50%, whereas lockdowns only reduced fatalities by 35%.

Lockdowns furthermore increased unemployment by 64%, but self-regulation only caused it to rise by 40%. Introducing late lockdown restrictions, when populations had already begun self-regulating, led “to a dual blow of increased deaths and unemployment,” the study concluded.

The results were published in the Nature Human Behaviour Journal, and the research was conducted by Professor Doyne Farmer of Oxford University’s Institute of New Economic Thinking.