Anxiety From Reactions to Covid-19 Will Destroy At Least Seven Times More Years of Life Than Can Be Saved by Lockdowns

By Andrew Glen, Ph.D. and James D. Agresti

Medical studies show that excessive stress and anxiety are among the most debilitating and deadly of all health hazards in the world. Beyond their obvious effects like suicide and substance abuse—these mental stressors are strongly related to and may trigger and inflame a host of ailments like high blood pressure, digestive disorders, heart conditions, infectious diseases, cancer, and pregnancy complications.

Based on a broad array of scientific data, Just Facts has computed that the anxiety created by reactions to Covid-19—such as stay-at-home orders, business shutdowns, media exaggerations, and legitimate concerns about the virus—will destroy at least seven times more years of human life than can possibly be saved by lockdowns to control the spread of the disease. This figure is a bare minimum, and the actual one is likely more than 90 times greater.

This study was reviewed by Joseph P. Damore, Jr., M.D., who concluded: “This research is engaging and thoroughly answers the question about the cure being worse than the disease.” Dr. Damore is a certified diplomate with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, an assistant attending psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy.

Stress and Anxiety Levels

Scientific surveys of U.S. residents have found that the mental health of about one-third to one-half of all adults has been substantially compromised by reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic. Examples include the following:

  • An American Psychiatric Association survey in mid-March found that 36% of adults report that anxiety over Covid-19 “is having a serious impact on their mental health.”
  • A Kaiser Family Foundation survey in late March found that 45% of adults “feel that worry and stress related to” Covid-19 “has had a negative impact on their mental health, an increase from 32% from early March.” Additionally, 19% of adults said it is having a “major impact” on their mental health.
  • A Benenson Strategy Group survey in late March revealed that the Covid-19 “situation has already affected” the “mental health” of 55% of U.S. adults “either a great deal or somewhat.”
  • A Kaiser Family Foundation survey in late April found that 56% of adults “report that worry and stress related to” Covid-19 “is affecting their mental health and wellbeing in various ways,” such as “trouble sleeping, “poor appetite or over-eating,” “frequent headaches or stomachaches,” “difficulty controlling their temper,” “increasing their alcohol or drug use,” and “worsening chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.”

Contributors to these mental health impacts include but are not limited to:

  • empirically grounded concerns about the virus.
  • anguish over the death of loved ones, although this is limited to a relatively small fraction of the public because the virus has killed one out of every 5,000 Americans, while one out of every 116 Americans die every year.
  • media outlets that overstate the deadliness of Covid-19 by:
  • government stay-at-home orders and self-imposed isolation, as evidenced by:
    • a survey commissioned by the University of Phoenix in late March that found 44% of U.S. adults are more lonely than they have ever been in their lives, which is a risk factor for suicide and many other psychologically driven fatal afflictions.
    • the late-March Kaiser Family Foundation survey, which “found that 47% of those sheltering in place reported negative mental health effects resulting from worry or stress,” a rate that “is significantly higher than the 37% among people who were not sheltering in place.”
    • the late-March Benenson Strategy Group survey, which found that “71% of Americans say they are concerned that ‘social distancing’ measures will have a negative impact on the country’s mental health—including 28% who are extremely or very concerned about this.”
  • government-mandated shutdowns of businesses in nearly every state that have cost millions of jobs and are reflected in the:
    • late-April Kaiser Family Foundation survey, which found that 35% of adults and 55% of workers “have lost their jobs or had a reduction in hours or pay as a result of” responses to Covid-19.
    • mid-March American Psychiatric Association survey, which found that 57% of adults are concerned that responses to the pandemic “will have a serious negative impact on their finances,” and 68% fear it “will have a long-lasting impact on the economy.”

Among all of the figures above, the lowest nationwide measure of people who have incurred psychological harm from reactions to Covid-19 is the 19% of adults in the late-March Kaiser Family Foundation survey who reported a “major impact” on their mental health. This survey included 1,226 respondents and has a margin of sampling error for this result of ± 2.2 percentage points with 95% confidence.

Therefore, at least 16.8% of 255,200,373 adults in the United States—or 42,873,663 people—have suffered major mental harm from responses to Covid-19. This figure forms the first key basis of this study.

The Deadliness of Anxiety and Stress

Medical journals are rich with studies that attempt to measure the lethality of stress, anxiety, depression, and other psychological conditions. Determining this is very difficult because association does not prove causation, and unmeasured factors could be at play.

For example, a 2011 meta-analysis in the journal Social Science & Medicine about mortality, “psychosocial stress,” and job losses finds that “unemployment is associated with a substantially increased risk of death among broad segments of the population,” but there are conflicting theories as to why this is so. One is that “unemployment causes adverse changes in health behaviors, which in turn lead to deterioration of health.” Put simply, unemployment causes bad health. The other theory is that bad health causes unemployment. Both of these theories may be true, and factors that are not measured in the studies could be causing both unemployment and bad health. Thus, it is very difficult to isolate these variables and determine which is causing the others and to what degree.

While trying to address such uncertainty, the meta-analysis examined “235 mortality risk estimates from 42 studies” and found that “unemployment is associated with a 63% higher risk of mortality in studies controlling for covariates.”

Regardless of whether job losses from Covid-19 lockdowns are brief or sustained, the study found that the death correlation “is significant in both the short and long term,” lending “some support to the hypothesis and previous findings that both the stress and the negative lifestyle effects associated with the onset of unemployment tend to persist even after a person has regained a job.”

Also of relevance to current job losses, the study indicates that added unemployment benefits, like those recently passed into federal law, are unlikely to mitigate the deadliness of job losses. This is because the meta-analysis found that the associations between unemployment and death in Scandinavia and the U.S. are not significantly different, even though the Scandinavian nations offer more generous welfare benefits. Thus, the authors conclude that “these national-level policy differences may not have much of an effect on the rate of mortality following unemployment.”

A broad range of other studies have similar implications for anxiety-related deaths wrought by reactions to Covid-19:

  • A 1991 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found that “psychological stress was associated in a dose-response manner with an increased risk of acute infectious respiratory illness.” A dose-response relationship, as explained by epidemiologist Sydney Pettygrove, “is one in which increasing levels of exposure are associated with either an increasing or a decreasing risk of the outcome.” She notes that when this pattern occurs, it “is considered strong evidence for a causal relationship between the exposure and the outcome.”
  • A 2004 paper in The Lancet documents that “stress and depression result in an impairment of the immune response and might promote the initiation and progression of some types of cancer….” The paper details many human and animal studies germane to the Covid-19 lockdowns, such as those dealing with a “lack of social interactions” that cause certain cancers to metastasize.
  • A 2005 paper in the Journal of Experimental Medicine finds that “psychological conditions, including stress” trigger a “sophisticated molecular mechanism” that increases “the likelihood of infections, autoimmunity, or cancer.”
  • A 2012 meta-analysis in the British Medical Journal finds “a dose-response association between psychological distress and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and external causes across the full range of distress, even in people who would not usually come to the attention of mental health services.” Furthermore, “these associations remained after adjustment for age, sex, current occupational social class, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and diabetes.” People with the lowest levels of psychological distress in this study had a 20% greater risk of death, and those with the highest levels had a 94% greater risk.
  • A 2012 paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry analyzesthe death rates of more than a million young males in Sweden who underwent a government-mandated military draft physical that “included a structured interview by a psychologist” during 1969 to 1994. This study is particularly relevant to the effects of the current Covid-19 anxiety because it involves nearly all the healthy young men of a nation and excludes those with “severe” mental or physical disorders because they were excused from the exam. The study finds:
    • Young men who were diagnosed with neurotic and adjustment disorders were 76% more likely to die in the average follow-up period of 22.6 years. A neurotic disorder is a problem dealing with anxiety, and an adjustment disorder—which is now called “stress response syndrome”—is “a short-term condition that occurs when a person has great difficulty coping with, or adjusting to, a particular source of stress, such as a major life change, loss, or event.” These are apt descriptions of the tens of millions of Americans who report that reactions to Covid-19 are seriously harming their mental health.
    • Premature deaths associated with mental illness “are not primarily due to suicide or accidents, although risk of both is increased, but to a range of natural causes, particularly cardiovascular disease.” This suggests that the most pervasive harm from lockdowns does not manifest in obvious ways like suicides and overdoses.
  • A 2015 paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology examines the death rates of all “Danes who received a diagnosis of reaction to severe stress or adjustment disorders” between 1995 and 2011. The study found that they “had mortality rates during the study period that were 2.2 times higher than” those of the general population.
  • A 2015 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry provides a systematic review of 148 studies of death and mental disorders with follow-up times ranging from one to 52 years, with a median of 10 years. It finds that the overall risk of death among people with mental disorders is 2.2 times that of the general population. Breaking these results out by condition, the mortality increases were:
    • 43% for people with anxiety.
    • 71% for people with depression
    • 110% for people with mood disorders.
    • 150% for people with psychoses.

Among all of the results above, the smallest risk of increased death is 20% in the 2012 meta-analysis. This has a margin of error from 13% to 27% with 95% confidence. The lower limit of 13% translates to an average of about 1.3 years of lost life per person.

Corroborating that figure, 22 of the studies in the 2015 meta-analysis included estimates for the average years of life lost by each person with a mental disorder. These “ranged from 1.4 to 32 years, with a median of 10.1 years.” None of these studies were for anxiety, but the low-end figure of 1.4 years provides additional evidence that those who suffer serious mental repercussions from responses to Covid-19 will lose an average of more than a year of life.

Therefore, the figure of 1.3 years of lost life is a bare minimum and forms the second key basis of this study. This varies widely by person and could be:

  • 50 years or more for young people who commit suicide.
  • one month or less for elderly persons who have cardiac events triggered by fear or loneliness.
  • two years for the middle-aged people whose blood pressure begins spiking earlier in life than it would have in the absence of Covid-19-related stress.

Lives Saved By Lockdowns

In the science of epidemiology, or the study of human disease, ethical and practical constraints often make it impossible to conduct experiments that can definitively establish the effects of medical interventions. This applies to determining how many lives might be saved by government lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic.

One can easily compare Covid-19 death rates—or the number of people who die from the disease divided by the total population where they live—in nations and states that took different actions. However, many other factors can affect these death rates, such as wealth, age, population density, government, hospital protocols, culture, genetics, diet, and exercise. For example, New York State enacted one of the strictest lockdowns in the U.S. but has 22 times the death rate of Florida, which had one of the mildest lockdowns.

Given such considerations, the highest possible figure for lives saved by lockdowns can be estimated by comparing the nations of Scandinavia. This is because these countries are culturally, economically, and genetically similar to one another but have enacted very dissimilar policies to deal with Covid-19. In the words of Paul W. Franks, professor of genetic epidemiology at Lund University in Sweden:

The Swedish approach to Covid-19 could not be more different from its neighbors, placing much of the responsibility for delaying the spread of the virus and protecting the vulnerable in the hands of the public. It’s now April and, albeit with some restrictions, Swedish bars, restaurants and schools remain open. …

This all contrasts the far more assertive physical restrictions imposed in the culturally similar neighboring countries. Across the borders in Denmark, Norway and Finland, schools closed weeks ago and movement has been severely restricted.

Sweden has taken certain measures to slow the spread of Covid-19, like limiting public gatherings to 50 people. However, these can hardly be characterized as “lockdowns,” and Swedish stores, restaurants, schools, beaches, and other public places are open and bustling.

Stunning Stockholm, a wonderful Swedish city. Gamlastan and the center.

Comparing the current death rates of Scandinavian nations yields a maximum figure for the lives saved by lockdowns because Sweden’s plan involves more deaths in the early stages of the pandemic but less later on. As detailed by Professor Franks, simulations show that the overall death rate is “expected to be similar across countries,” but “unlike its peers, Sweden is likely to take the hit sooner and over a shorter period, with the majority of deaths occurring within weeks, rather than months.”

As of April 27th, the death rate in Sweden is 32% higher than in the United States, 3.1 times that of Denmark, 5.8 times that of Norway, and 6.4 times that of Finland:

Applying the Sweden/Finland death rate ratio of 6.4 to the United States, the maximum number of Americans who could have been saved by past and current lockdowns is 616,590. This figure is based on the most pessimistic projection of 114,228 deaths in the U.S. through August 4th by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. It is calculated by multiplying 114,228 deaths by 6.4 and then subtracting the 114,228 deaths that occur regardless of the lockdown.

The figure of 616,590 lives saved by lockdowns in the U.S. is at the extreme high-end of plausibility because it:

  • uses the worst-case projection for the U.S. death toll.
  • compares the death rate in Sweden to Finland, even though Denmark—which has also implemented a strict lockdown—has twice the death rate of Finland.
  • assumes that Sweden’s death rate doesn’t decline relative to its neighbors over time regardless of Sweden’s strategy to build herd immunity consistent with the following facts:
    • The Imperial College—whose cataclysmic projections of Covid-19 deaths have been a driving force behind government lockdowns—has acknowledged that “the more successful a strategy is at temporary suppression, the larger the later epidemic is predicted to be in the absence of vaccination, due to lesser build-up of herd immunity.”
    • A 2012 paper in the journal PLoS One titled “Immunity in Society” notes that “when a sufficiently high proportion of individuals within a population becomes immune (either through prior exposure or through mass vaccination), community or ‘herd’ immunity emerges, whereby individuals that are poorly immunized are protected by the collective ‘immune firewall’ provided by immunized neighbors.”
    • Large portions of people are highly resistant to Covid-19 and experience no symptoms when they catch it, later making them firewalls against the spread of the disease. For example, the New England Journal of Medicine reported in mid-April that universal Covid-19 testing of pregnant women at two New York City hospitals found that 88% of the women who tested positive for the disease were asymptomatic.
    • U.S. states with strict lockdowns—like New Jersey and New York—have Covid-19 death rates that are three to five times that of Sweden’s:

Nonetheless, this study uses the highly improbable and optimistic scenario of 616,590 lives saved by lockdowns. This figure forms the third key basis of the study.

Comparing Life Lost and Saved

Combining the first two key figures of this study, anxiety from responses to Covid-19 has impacted 42,873,663 adults and will rob them of an average of 1.3 years of life, thus destroying 55.7 million years of life.

Combining the third key figure of this study with data on Covid-19 deaths, a maximum of 616,590 lives might be saved by the current lockdowns, and the disease robs an average of 12 years of life from each of its victims, which means that the current lockdowns can save no more than 7.4 million years of life.

In other words, the anxiety from reactions to Covid-19—such as business shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, media exaggerations, and legitimate concerns about the virus—will extinguish at least seven times more years of life than can possibly be saved by the lockdowns.

Again, all of these figures minimize deaths from anxiety and maximize lives saved by lockdowns. Under the more moderate scenarios documented above, anxiety will destroy more than 90 times the life saved by lockdowns based on:

  • the mid-March American Psychiatric Association survey that found Covid-19 “is having a serious impact” on the “mental health” of 36% of adults.
  • the 2015 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry that found a 43% average increase in mortality for people with anxiety.
  • the IHME’s midpoint projection of 72,433 Covid-19 deaths through August 4th.
  • the fact that the current death rate of Sweden is 5.1 times the average of the other Scandinavian nations.

Even the figure of 90 times is likely a substantial underestimate of the total life destroyed by reactions to Covid-19 because it doesn’t account for:

Unlike analyses that only compare the number of deaths from Covid-19 to other causes, this study accounts for the years of life lost for each victim. This accords with the CDC’s principle that “the allocation of health resources must consider not only the number of deaths by cause but also by age.” Thus, the CDC explains that the “years of potential life lost” has “become a mainstay in the evaluation of the impact of injuries on public health.” This doesn’t mean that the lives of young people are more important than that of the elderly, but it recognizes and accounts for the facts that:

  • humans cannot ultimately prevent death; they can only delay it.
  • there is a material difference between a malady that kills a 20 year-old in the prime of her life and one that kills a 90-year-old who would have otherwise died a month later.

A possible argument against this study is that it isn’t proper to compare anxiety to Covid-19 because the effects of anxiety often don’t kill until the distant future, while the deaths from Covid-19 are happening right now. Such logic relegates the harms of mental distress to years away, but the facts are clear that it can kill immediately, make life a nightmare in the present, and produce current and lasting physical ailments that end in early death. More importantly, tallying the life lost in any random unit of time, as opposed to an entire lifetime, is shortsighted and exclusionary.

Other distinctions, such as whether or not the cause of death is contagious, are similarly myopic. The primary issues are prevention and harm, and the difference between them ultimately determines how much life is saved or destroyed.


One of the most important principles of epidemiology is weighing benefits and harms. A failure to do this can make virtually any medical treatment seem helpful or destructive. In the words of Ronald C. Kessler of the Harvard Medical School and healthcare economist Paul E. Greenberg, “medical interventions are appropriate only if their expected benefits clearly exceed the sum of their direct costs and their expected risks.”

Likewise, a 2020 paper about quarantines published in The Lancet states: “Separation from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainty over disease status, and boredom can, on occasion, create dramatic effects. Suicide has been reported, substantial anger generated, and lawsuits brought following the imposition of quarantine in previous outbreaks. The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.”

Yet, when dealing with Covid-19 and other issues, politicians sometimes ignore this essential principle of sound decision-making. For a prime example, NJ Governor Phil Murphy recently insisted that he must maintain a lockdown or “there will be blood on our hands.” What that statement fails to recognize is that lockdowns also kill people via the mechanisms detailed above.

Likewise, a reporter asked NY Governor Andrew Cuomo about the impacts of his lockdown on people who commit “suicide because they can’t pay their bills” and others who die from the economic repercussions and “mental illness.” In reply, Cuomo stated five times that these fatal outcomes are “not death.” He also asked the rhetorical question, “How can the cure be worse than the illness if the illness is potential death?” The obvious answer is that the cure is also potential death.

In situations like pandemics and many other realms of public policy, life-and-death tradeoffs are inevitable, and failing to recognize this can cause tremendous harm. This is the case with Covid-19, where a broad array of scientific facts overwhelmingly shows that anxiety from reactions to the disease will destroy at least seven times more years of life than can possibly be saved by lockdowns. Moreover, the total loss of life from all societal responses to this disease is likely to be more than 90 times greater than prevented by the lockdowns.

A final note for readers who are experiencing anxiety: Healthcare professionals can reduce these effects, so seek help.

Dr. Andrew Glen is a Professor Emeritus of Operations Research from the United States Military Academy. He is a thirty-year U.S. Army veteran and an award-winning researcher in the field of computational probability.

James D. Agresti is the president of Just Facts, a think tank dedicated to publishing rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.

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Steve Case
May 7, 2020 6:44 am

Moreover, the total loss of life from all societal responses to this disease is likely to be more than 90 times greater than prevented by the lockdowns.

And methane is 86 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat.

I suppose one exaggeration deserves another, but just because the pushers of “The Climate Crisis” do it doesn’t mean everyone else should follow suit.

Reply to  Steve Case
May 7, 2020 3:28 pm

A correlation is a correlation, not a causation. However, when a correlation is found, and it is unbroken, one has good reason to pay attention to it. A broken correlation can be largely discarded.

The correlation between economic distress and premature deaths is unbroken. The correlation between GHGs and global mean temperature is broken.

Not to say that the first correlation (distress/deaths) will never be broken – but I consider it unlikely.

May 7, 2020 6:47 am

What I think will come out of this is people will have to choose a more healthy lifestyle or risk dying early. Plain and simple. There may be therapeutics developed to treat COVID-19, but at this point they may not be effective if you already have a damaged immune or cardiovascular system.

For the elderly, we will just have to be more careful in the nursing, assisted living and hospitals.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  rbabcock
May 7, 2020 9:41 am

“For the elderly, we will just have to be more careful in the nursing, assisted living and hospitals.”

When was THAT not the case?

And a frail, elderly person going into a nursing home facility rarely if ever leaves the facility by the front door.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 8, 2020 6:29 am

To the point Joel. Hammer meet nail. The common cold will often lead to pneumonia and death with this demographic. Elderly with compromised immune system are a large percentage of flu deaths during the flu season. There is never a mention of this on the Propaganda Channesl.

ABNBCBs Ms/Cnn are working overtime to obfuscate from that reality in this year of the COVID. A person might understandably arrive at the conclusion, watching the evening news, that young healthy people are dropping dead in the streets from the Corona Virus.

And they show their disinformation hand when the talking political heads are brought on to inform us that Trump brought it to the sates from an unknown source (so stop calling it the Chinese Flu). Propaganda advances political causes and sells commercial time. Win-Win. For everybody but us slugs stuck in our homes that is. for us its lose-lose. Freedom and sanity.

Reply to  rbabcock
May 8, 2020 5:33 am

How are people to choose a more healthy lifestyle when their gyms are closed, their exercise clubs are closed and they’re told they can’t even go outdoors to exercise? In Australia, people aren’t even allowed to go to the beach (you know, the place with the cleansing ultraviolet light and salt water).

Terry Bixler
May 7, 2020 7:07 am

As I understand the lockdowns only change the shape of the rate of infection. If that is true and the area under the curve is equal with or without lockdown, then the bad outcomes is still the same. No savings at all. As always focus on treatment not bad outcomes.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Terry Bixler
May 7, 2020 8:54 am

All we are doing with these lockdowns now is slowing the acquisition of herd immunity in the young and healthiest segments of the population where the COVID-19 morbidity and mortality rates are lowest. This prolonging the acquisition of herd immunity hurts rather than helps the most vulnerable by increasing their potential contact time/exposures to infected individual via prolonged flattened curve.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Terry Bixler
May 7, 2020 12:20 pm

If there is one positive to lockdowns, they may reduce total death counts until a vaccine is widely available, resulting in a lower per-capita death rate due to CV-19 (lowering the area under the curve). However, not likely to offset the deaths caused by stress, etc. etc. This analysis is presented in the middle of the battle with imperfect data and could change one way or the other later as we look back with 20-20 vision.

At this time, we have only 36 days of higher death loss in the USA [slightly over 2000 reported deaths per day (+/- 120) 7-day moving average]. So comparing CV-19 deaths in 36 days to 116 Americans dying per year doesn’t line up. In any event, the point is well taken, just not as exaggerated.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
May 7, 2020 5:50 pm

After 40 years we are still waiting for the AIDS vaccine. Add in they has never been COVID vaccine produce to date good luck waiting for a vaccine.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Mark Luhman
May 7, 2020 6:31 pm

You know what they say about predicting the future ;<)
I won't be holding my breath either.

May 7, 2020 7:11 am

In the USA, not one person over 80 will commit suicide as a consequence of CV.
From 01/03/2020 to 31/05/2020 not one person in the USA will die of pneumonia nor natural causes.
From 01/03/2020 to end of 2020 many tens of thousands of suicides will occur in the USA as a direct result of loss of job, loss of money and loss of self esteem.

Reply to  toorightmate
May 7, 2020 1:09 pm

Toorightmate ……. is right.

May 7, 2020 7:24 am

2 plus trillion dollars – could we have isolated the vulnerable with that money and STILL have gone to work (to pay for it)? We would have had to have RECOGNIZED we had an ‘issue’ rising on the horizon to do so, was the CDC and NIH ‘out to lunch’ rather than ‘manning’ the distant early warning (DEW) ‘line’?


(Bring Back Hand Washing)

Reply to  _Jim
May 7, 2020 7:58 am

was the CDC and NIH ‘out to lunch’

Does a bear defecate in the brush?

Carl Friis-Hansen
May 7, 2020 7:25 am

It is tragic comic how so many, at least in Sweden, have said something similar to Dr. Andrew Glen et al.
My friends and I came to much the same conclusion from just common sense.
Great to have it confirmed from somebody who is bound to know the facts.

Jack Black
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
May 7, 2020 8:10 am

That’s correct, and it is a good summary of all the various points made by many genuine professional clinicians, rather than the panicked ravings of vested interest loons such as Bill Gates funded hypocrites and whited sepulchres like Neil Ferguson and Anthony Fauci !

See the video interview (censored by YouTube) ….

Dr. Daniel Erickson, owner of seven CA urgent care facilities, was thrown into the spotlight after his press conference on the COVID 19 stirred up enough controversy to get censored by YouTube. Here’s Del’s follow-up interview and this doc’s message is clear: he is not backing down.

This is a devastating critique of the draconian policies currently in vogue, as a result of scare tactics spouted out by the likes of Fauci, Gates, and Ferguson !

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
May 7, 2020 9:38 am

Indeed and the worst is that there is no scientific litterature supporting lockdown and actually, it is quite the opposite, see for example a recent WHO survey on the subject :

Jan de Jong
May 7, 2020 7:26 am

What I would like to know: is there a goal and a plan that can be made public please, with means, timeline, costs and benefits. Are we aiming for herd immunity, waiting for a vaccine? That seems to be the default. Are we rooting the virus out by persistent halving of cases and then testing/tracing? That needs a determined effort and some areas of the world may be incapable. Ruining the economy should in any case serve a clear desirable purpose.

May 7, 2020 7:37 am

“i’ll take “Things Nobody Can Prove” for the Daily Double Research Grant, Alex.

Ed H
Reply to  max
May 7, 2020 3:29 pm


May 7, 2020 7:40 am

COVID-19 situation update for the EU + UK, as of 7 May 2020

Reply to  Vuk
May 7, 2020 8:48 am

For few days now I have been wondering why the old communist East European countries have very low death rate, all below 5/100k.
Meanwhile, with the exception of Germany, economically and technologically advanced countries, Italy, France, UK, Spain or USA (22/100k) have death rate about one order of magnitude greater.
An obvious but not necessary correct observation is that the all of East European countries are ethnically and racially very compact, while the countries with racially and ethnically diverse population have suffered much higher death rate.
If China is telling the truth (which I don’t believe) then the most affected Hubei province with ethnically uniform population of 58 million had 3,200 deaths giving rate of 5.5/100k (if I got it right) which is almost on the par with the East Europe, but far below the major industrialised countries.
My comment may not be politically correct or could be even worse; if the above is against the WUWT’s policy I do apologise, and if so, the MOD please delete.

Reply to  Vuk
May 7, 2020 12:30 pm

Countries in the Soviet bloc had mandatory BCG tuberculosis vaccinations. Countries that did that, including Japan, have lower coronavirus fatality rates. Also note the striking contrast between Portugal and Spain.

Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
May 7, 2020 2:02 pm

Thanks for the info. All of my family had anti TB vaccine as schoolchildren.

Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
May 7, 2020 2:51 pm

Thanks again Ralph.
Just came across the early research, when there were only 13,000 deaths, and results are still valid as the number of total deaths rose to more than 10 times. It appears they nailed it. Updated the graph with map from the authors’ paper.

Stephen Skinner
May 7, 2020 7:47 am

But Greta says she wants us to panic.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
May 8, 2020 10:29 am

The next time Saint Greta wants to visit north America she may find short pier, pointed in the right direction, and start walking…..

May 7, 2020 7:50 am

This has to be the biggest no-brainer I’ve ever seen. My wife works with the elderly and has already seen some of the above effects and I’ve posted many times here and elsewhere that I fear we’re going to pay a terrible price for all this somewhere down the line. A lot of younger adults are simply unable to cope with anything remotely resembling hardship or distress, so heaven knows how they’re going to deal with this. I know of quite a few people who follow the news obsessively – as if they are simply compelled to which I find bizarre, I mean, what on earth is the point? Personally, I feel that SOME of these people need a bit of a slap and telling to get a grip, but I keep this to myself generally as we’re all supposed to ooh and aah at the appropriate time. I know it’s going to be tough, but a lot of us have made it though tougher times than this.

May 7, 2020 8:55 am

yeah its weird
people think that everything is going to follow a plan they have in their mind, nothings allowed to change it, and theres this really odd thing it seems a hell of a lot of under 50s? have about being inconvenienced and they just dont seem to have work around find an option or walk away skills?
guess the sales of the SSRIs and the ensuing addictions to them and side effects causing suicides and murders will soar.
I too find the slap and get a grip solution would be FAR wiser a treatment;-)
super annoying is the massive cash and other supports made available when in past hard times you had to make do and go without and pretty much cope alone.and we did
banks mortgages etc are all being massively bailed out some overindebteds will lose a home
nothing new there either.

Ed H
Reply to  ozspeaksup
May 7, 2020 3:31 pm


May 7, 2020 9:27 am

The “Coronavirus KARENS” are all a-tizzy on … they want further lock-downs!!

Pewdiepie even recently made a vid ridiculing ‘karens’:

” Don’t EVER Call Me A KAREN! ”

May 7, 2020 7:52 am

Toorightmate ……. is too right.

Kevin kilty
May 7, 2020 7:57 am

From the behavior of people around me I am certain many people have forgotten or perhaps never knew that a necessary condition for transmitting disease is that someone must actually have the disease and be contagious. The six-foot rule is a number pulled from a hat, and is dependent on context. I see people wearing homemade masks of utterly unproven effectiveness, or some obviously not effective at all, and expressing disapproval that I am not keeping them safe by following suit. The state health officers here have promoted this by actually showing people how to make unproven ppe. I am also now finding masks, discarded and blowing into my yard.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Kevin kilty
May 7, 2020 12:53 pm

Face masks (homemade or manufactured) do not prevent transmission of the disease, but they do reduce viral load (or dose) which may contribute to more asymmetric cases and fewer deaths (imo – an expert can chime in). If you want to prevent transmission, use a full face respirator and go full bore HAZWOPER level C, B, or A.
comment image
In my early career, I helped design radioactive processes that were installed and operated inside negative-pressure glove boxes.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
May 7, 2020 1:28 pm

Make asymmetric “asymptomatic.” (my eyes and spell check don’t always work properly)

Ed H
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
May 7, 2020 3:44 pm

How many times does it need to be repeated? The masks are not to protect the wearer. They are to reduce the blast radius of the coughs and other exhalations if you unknowlingly have the virus. A different thread showed the actual measured effects of masks limiting that blast radius.

If I have the virus, and I knowingly go out without a mask and cough near people, I am every much committing assault as if I stood and swung my extended first around in a circle and as a result my first hit someone in the face. Unfortunately, transmission can occur without showing symptoms, but that still makes it negligence at best. In my opinion, we should NOT jail people for violating orders to wear masks or other violations. But we SHOULD pass legislation making spreading the virus while disobeying such orders subject to civil liability if you had the virus (even unknowingly and therefore negligently rather than maliciously) and someone you came in proximity to then gets it. Let a few high dollar lawsuits get publicized, and then see what it does with compliance. They don’t even need to get through the courts first. Just the existence of the suits and size of awards sought ought to have some effect.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  Ed H
May 7, 2020 5:20 pm

Thank you Ed H,

Protection occurs both ways – blast radius is most important. My main point was that the masks do not stop 100% of the transmission but they can reduce viral load. Other points you make regarding liability are valid imo and I agree with them in principle; however, the issue can be muddied since wearing a mask or scarf does not stop 100% of the blast. It is even hard to get a good fit test with a full face respirator. I have smelled the smoke or banana oil on several occasions while doing a fit test with a full-face respirator.

Ed H
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
May 8, 2020 3:22 am

Agreed the masks aren’t ideal, but at least by reducing the blast radius one is taking due care. Refusing to follow required usage is therefore at least intentional gross negligence. There are many jurisdictions where the liability already exists, particularly those in which failing to follow lawful orders is per-se considered negligence (meaning the an automatic presumption of negligence.) But adding some clarity to it would be fitting given the militant non-compliance that exists.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
May 8, 2020 3:51 am

Tell it to the Czechians, using home made masks with no actual lockdown and they have a far better outcome than many other countries that have not.

May 7, 2020 8:01 am

And add to this the billions that will be made. Are the scales being tilted?

remember an old adage: Your heart is where your money is.

Is there a conflict with NIH (NIAID) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? I sure has the appearance given they have multiple million dollar joint efforts. See below for details.

Last I checked, there are over 70 companies world wide (not counting the Chinese) that are developing vaccines for COVID-19. There is the obvious rush to accelerate testing trials. The Moderna trial(s) have been pushed through NIH at near light speed and is the first to pass not only Phase I but now has approval for Phase II trials (with 600 subjects). The phase I trial (below) results hasn’t been posted at Pubmed or on the web (as of today).

So we have a “novel” mRNA vaccine rushing through tests where the researchers/creators are the same people that are the gatekeepers (agencies/cabinet) in the US Government.

Curious? Follow the money?


Note under the Baye-Dole act, the individual researchers own whatever can be patented for their work regardless of funding or employment. The key points in the first article are:

shares up more than 12%
The potential vaccine, which was developed by researchers at Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, became the first candidate to enter a phase 1 human trial in March.joint research with NIH,
specifically with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which Dr. Fauci heads.
it expects “a close matching of expenses and reimbursements for those expenses” from its award by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) . See this link where they got 483 million from BARDA, a part of the US Health and Human Services (HHS) cabinet (NIH is also part of HHS):
The trial was launched in “record speed,” White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said at the time.
Last week
Last week, Moderna announced a 10 year partnership with Swiss drugmaker Lonza to accelerate production of the experimental vaccine. . . hopes to begin manufacturing its potential vaccine “as early as July”.
…the company hopes to be able to manufacture about 1 billion doses per year.
The company said it has $1.7 billion in cash and investments and up to $700 million available in potential grants and awards.

Other facts not in the

Moderna collaborators at NIAID (Dr. Fauci’s group):
“Moderna Therapeutics said today it received an initial $20 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a new affordable combination of messenger RNA–based antibody therapeutics geared toward preventing HIV infection.
The reseach with NIH is specifically with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which Dr. Fauci heads.
On December 11, 2019 NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation held the fifth annual consultative workshop on global health. Many of the topics discussed were NIAID areas of interest.
The NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are investing at least $200 million to develop accessible gene-based cures globally for sickle cell disease and HIV infection. Posing together on the morning of the announcement are (from left) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Director Dr. Gary Gibbons, Gates Foundation President of Global Health Efforts Dr. Trevor Mundel, and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.
New York, December 2, 2010 – The World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced a collaboration to increase coordination across the international vaccine community and create a Global Vaccine Action Plan.
on twitter March 2017Bill Gates discounted any ill effects of vaccines
@RealDonaldTrump confronted Bill Gates on the safety of vaccines when he was considering a safety commission headed by
@RobertKennedyJr to look into the ill effects of vaccines. Gates said, “No, that’s a dead end. That would be a bad thing. Don’t do that.”
Another 100 million dollar grant matching by NIH and Gates Foundation:
Moderna has a long history of partnering with the Gates Foundation dating back to 2016:
finally, an educational article (long) from Nature on mRNA:
Under the Baye-Dole act, the individual researchers own whatever can be patented for their work regardless of funding or employment meaning employees of Dr. Fauci, maybe even Dr. Fauci, can patent and participate in the Moderna vaccine.

May 7, 2020 8:10 am

Lord Monckton will be along to tell you how wrong you are and that you are but a child and not in position to be responsible and the adult in the room.

Reply to  astonerii
May 7, 2020 10:16 am

I’m sure Lord Monckton will speak for himself, and more eloquently than your rude and unjustified put-down.

I’m always starting off from a sceptical position, but I have to accept that western governments really did not have any choice at all about imposing lockdowns. We can argue the details about Sweden’s non legally backed lockdown, or the details of the severity or length of our own lockdown later. We’ll see. As for the “surveys” about how much or little the lockdowns are affecting our mental health, and likely to shorten our lives… well, I’m going to need a lot more convincing. Numbers out of thin air, seems to me. But the long term effects of the economic damage and the slowing of technological progress which will follow – that’s another matter entirely.

Reply to  mothcatcher
May 7, 2020 11:15 am

So, you start from a skeptical point of view. Then are forced, (internally?), to accept that western governments had no choice at all about imposing lock downs?
Under what idea do you accept that governments had no choice but to do something unprecedented in history in order to fight a recurring event?
What evidence forced you to think that lock downs with economic suicide would do much more than nominal social distancing that happens when there are significant contagions and the quarantining of the known sick?
It is like you people have absolutely 0 knowledge of the world but dare to proclaim that you have all the answers.

Reply to  astonerii
May 7, 2020 12:20 pm

Western governments, unlike totalitarian ones, govern by the consent of the people and are obliged to listen to what they say. The people (represented or perhaps misrepresented by the media and by a relatively small cadre of ‘opinion formers’ – which may be regrettable) will not, repeat not, allow any government to fail to make the lives of their relatives in the short term the highest priority. It would be a bold leader and powerful leader who tries to go against this mandate and, if he does, he had better be very sure of his facts. In this situation it is not clear what the facts are.

So I would say that the course of events we have seen is, on the whole, inevitable. We shall see in the coming weeks if the relaxation of the lockdowns can be achieved without very large blowback. Details may differ amongst western nations, but they are all doing, more or less, similar things.

The minority of people, like yourself, who actually KNOW the answers, will have to wait quite a while before they can even say ‘I told you so’.

Reply to  mothcatcher
May 7, 2020 2:15 pm

Where was this form of government, say, when H1N1 was ravaging little children and killing them off 70 years before their time? I thought you said they had to listen and protect peoples family members… But that is not really the case is it?
This is a political action. Between China and the Democrats and their workers in academia and the media, they made up a fake crisis and are forcing the destruction of our economies. And you are apparently part and parcel or an easy dupe.
The whole covid-19 thing is a scam, and it will be outed eventually.

On an average day 7,000 to 8,000 people typically die to all causes.
Heart attacks and strokes do not stop happening because there is an epidemic. In all likelihood, the added stresses of the “crisis” from unemployment, to hunger, to life changes, to being lonely, these should increase.
Emergency rooms are reporting that as many as 70% of stroke and heart attack victims are not going to the hospitals for treatment. Each of which typically has about 800,000 victims a year, most of which are saved in emergency rooms. If 80% of those who do not seek treatment die, that is 1,000 stroke deaths and 1,000 heart attack deaths per day… That is quite a bit of excess death.
No symptoms means no cause. But that is not the case with covid-19.
80-90% of all people who test positive to the virus SARS-COV2 have no symptoms and not having symptoms means they do not actually have covid-19. But anyone who tests positive or is thought to be positive at time of death is counted as a covid-19 death. That means that it is easily possible that less than 20% or even less than 10% of those counted as covid-19 deaths are really people who had the disease covid-19 with symptoms and everything. Even fewer are likely to have been directly killed by the symptoms because over half of those with symptoms have mild to moderate symptoms that do not require hospitalization.

The average age of death for Covid-19 according to the CDC calculates up to about 75.3 years of age as of May 6th. 60% are males and 40% females which lowers the general population life expectancy down to about 78.2 years from 78.7 years. Meaning these people die on average about 2.9 years early. But they are also sicker than average. 97.3% of them have 1 or more, averaging 2.7, serious chronic health issues that lower their life expectancy by a decade or more each. Diabetes being present in a significant number, type 1 reduces by 20 years, and type 2 by 10 years for instance.
Adding all this up, it is very very likely that between 2 and 7% of those claimed to have died of covid-19 were actually killed by it, another 8 to 13% of them died of other causes that were sped up by covid-19 induced stresses, and the rest simply died, some with the virus and some deemed to have the virus without evidence. SCIENCE BRO!
Any rational thinking human being would understand that all these deaths (70,000+) are not directly caused by covid-19. It is even in the claims that these are not all covid-19 caused deaths. They call the deaths died WITH covid-19 and even that is a stretch, as they really died with SARS-COV2 the virus which causes covid-19, and it does not always cause illness.

If the common flu deaths were counted the way that covid-19 is counted, we would get between 250,000 and 600,000 people a year that died with influenza type a, type b, type c or type d. Maybe more, because if you could just deem people to have one of those viruses, the total number of deaths per year is the only real limit.
In reality, there are probably around 3,000 covid-19 deaths and another 9,000 covid-19 assisted deaths for the entire United States of America. Basically less than 2 regular day’s worth of death over a period of months.

Reply to  mothcatcher
May 7, 2020 9:36 pm

I would like to see this government that listens to the people…ooh, me aching sides!

Reply to  mothcatcher
May 7, 2020 12:49 pm

« I’m always starting off from a sceptical position, but I have to accept that western governments really did not have any choice at all about imposing lockdowns. »

Do you realize that this position is simply untenable and unjustifiable?

1-the number of countries that did not resort on mass confinement and fared a lot better than those who did is staggering,
2- we knew form the very beginning that the severity of the disease was mild at most. We had reliable numbers from the Diamond princess or the Theodore Roosevelt for instance,
3-mass confinement strategies were based on unrealistic and outlandish numeric simulation. In the mean time, the real penetration of the virus within a given population was underestimated of, at least, an order of magnitude.

Your reasoning does not hold to basic scrutiny.

Reply to  Agamemnon
May 7, 2020 8:19 pm

And a twist —

The original Imperial College graphs etc that convinced world governments looked a lot to me like climate graphs: the “do these things” vs the “do nothing” plots looked to me as the same sales pitch as “full decarbonizing” vs “business as usual.” In my experience any graph that includes a scare plot is a sales device; a lie, not science.

Reply to  randomengineer
May 7, 2020 9:43 pm

As someone who has worked with technical analysis of futures for some years I can vouch for this- I am always seeing charts that show ‘explosive growth potential’ or similar, and always upon further analysis they prove to be at the very least guilty of cherry picking.

Reply to  randomengineer
May 8, 2020 6:08 am

Andy in this case we *know* this is true in that Ferguson was schtooping Antonia Staats, a climate extremist green activist. Of course he had to have a scare model, he likely felt everyone knows that this is how you’re supposed to do it. Ferguson’s actions vs his models vs skirts he chases isn’t a coincidence.

Tom Abbott
May 7, 2020 8:24 am

From the article: “Therefore, at least 16.8% of 255,200,373 adults in the United States—or 42,873,663 people—have suffered major mental harm from responses to Covid-19.”

These people need to suck it up a little bit. Think of the people of London and the constant bombing they were under from Hitler during World War II. Do you have it that bad today? No, you don’t. Not even close. The English of that time would laugh in your face if they heard you whining about your troubles today. Snap out of it!

And the article asks who causes this anxiety. The answer is a bunch of Whiners, who never had it so good, and now a little adversity comes along, for a short time, and they just can’t handle it, and whine and whine and whine, and drive everyone else nuts.

And now that we are on the road to recovery, they are still whining. Let’s hope these people never have to face some real adversity.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 7, 2020 10:07 am

Directing your anger at people who are isolated and fearful is really not on – and they have deliberately made anxious and fearful and helpless. This is the sort of thing the Germans were trying to do to the UK population during WWII, because it would be a very significant aid in conquering England. In WWII, Londoners had a common cause, extensive social support and active things they could do together to get by. You can stand a great deal more hardship under these conditions.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  FranBC
May 7, 2020 1:43 pm

“Directing your anger at people who are isolated and fearful is really not on”

My anger is directed at those who make the isolated people fearful, by whining and talking nonsense conspiracy theories about the Wuhan virus and how it was and is handled. The Whiners just add to their misery, and to no good purpose, because they add confusion not knowledge.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 7, 2020 2:20 pm

Yeah, that was not the take I took from your above post. It sounded to me that you think everyone should suck it up and live with it. Like everyone should be good little gears and just do their damned part, even if their part is changed to doing nothing.
And the person you are responding to, the original author, is a person who is arguing that we should lower the stresses on people. So if you were really trying to make the argument that you are attacking people who stressing the isolated people out, you failed miserably.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  astonerii
May 8, 2020 5:14 am

“Yeah, that was not the take I took from your above post. It sounded to me that you think everyone should suck it up and live with it.”

Yes, I do think everyone should suck it up. Especially in the United States where the government is giving them thousands of dollars to keep them solvent until the economy gets going again. The only requirement is you stay at home for a couple of months. If you can’t handle that, then what can you handle?

It would be differenent if people were starving to death or were being murdered wholesale, but nothing like that is happening. People have to socially distance themselves from each other for a few weeks and some of them act like that is the worst thing in the world. Maybe it is the worst thing in their little world, but compared to real adversity, it doesn’t even come close.

But, don’t let that stop you from whining.

I can’t stand whiners. You could probably guess that. What does whining accomplish? Nothing.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 7, 2020 12:47 pm

Couldn’t have put it better myself. See my slap/get a grip comment.

May 7, 2020 8:31 am

Red China sure owes the entire world a whole lot of money to pay for all this misery, even more than has even been lost and spent to date. The multiple trillions already lost and spent will be exceeded by these costs to come, as there is permanent structural damage done now, both to the overall economy and in every life this has touched which is 100% of all of us. These further future damages haven’t even started yet, as the pandemic is still raging around the world and much of the world is still locked down. Thousands will still die from this, maybe you or me.

This was effectively an Act of War, at least how China weaponized the global response because of their delays and lying which now appears to be very deliberate to cause this maximum damage. That alone should be evidence that China purposely manipulated this outcome, because they have a Sociopath for a leader in President Xi and a system of governance that is effectively a gangster state.

In today’s dollars, World War II cost $4.1 trillion, according to data from the Congressional Research Service, just for the USA. We are soon reaching over half that amount just in 3 months, so in financial terms, this has already cost the USA alone over half as much as WW2 did over almost 4 years from 1941-1945. And there is far more cost and damages to come which is the point of this article, because of this gangster state called China and how they operate. It’s high time to re-evaluate how we do business with Red China going forward and ensure there is some compensation for this massive destruction of life and wealth.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Earthling2
May 8, 2020 5:22 am

‘Red China sure owes the entire world a whole lot of money to pay for all this misery, even more than has even been lost and spent to date.”

Which makes me wonder why Germany is already quoting an amount they claim the Chinese leadership has cost them because of the Wuhan virus. The amount is something like $130 billion. I would say that’s way too low, and the Wuhan virus crisis isn’t even over yet so how do the German’s know what they are going to be owed by China?

A lot more than $130 billion, I’ll bet.

I suppose the Germans could be low-balling the figure in an attempt to not make the Chinese leadership too upset. The Germans and the EU seem to have a propensity to kowtow to the Chinese communists. Leftists in Europe and the U.S. are incapable of dealing with dictators. Their first impluse is to appease. Just the wrong approach to take with dictators.

Tom Abbott
May 7, 2020 8:40 am

All the lessons that are trying to be applied to the Wuhan virus situation *only* apply to the Wuhan virus.

They can not apply to a future, unknown virus because it takes time to determine the infectiousness and lethality of a new virus, and our leaders cannot take a chance on letting a deadly disease loose in society if there is a chance to prevent it.

So most of the lessons learned from the Wuhan virus won’t apply until it is determined that the new virus is equal to or less deadly than the Wuhan virus, and we won’t know that right from the start, yet our leaders will have to take action right from the start.

It will be a new lockdown ballgame everytime until the new disease is understood. Slicing and dicing the Wuhan virus experience won’t change that.

We should be much better prepared in the future so perhaps we will be prepared enough that we can stop the virus before a large-scale quarantine is necessary. Otherwise, we will have to socially distance ourselves again if the new virus proves deadly enough.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 7, 2020 9:38 am

re: “So most of the lessons learned from the Wuhan virus won’t apply”

Seems the MOST important thing, or lesson HAS been learned: China can’t be trusted, b/c “China is asshoe”.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  _Jim
May 7, 2020 1:47 pm

“Seems the MOST important thing, or lesson HAS been learned: China can’t be trusted”

You are absolutely right about that one. That *will* apply.

May 7, 2020 9:40 am

The only people that died from from the incident at Three Mile Island were those killed in auto accidents and from heart attacks taking stressed out, anxiety driven people. I worked at TMI then, my next door neighbors father died of a heart attack the day the “limited” evacuation order was issued. The weekly Obit page was much longer the first month.
Same thing happened at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The evening news made both look like a Hollywood Disaster Movie.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 7, 2020 9:46 am

The theory behind quarantine/lockdown (a.k.a. “flattening the curve”) is (1) it will reduce the rate of infection and thus the number of people requiring urgent medical care relative to the available capacity to provide it, and (2) it will buy time to develop more effective therapies and ultimately a vaccine.

All well and good. But the downside of an extended lockdown is economic collapse: severe recession and ultimately a prolonged depression. This will overwhelm aid agencies and resources and lead to multiple bad results, including death. This isn’t output from models; this is history.

While it is interesting to debate whether the lockdowns were necessary or achieved the stated goal, the fact is the virus isn’t going away no matter how long we try to hide from it. Absent the almost immediate availability of vastly better therapies, people will continue to get sick and die. Even a COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be only as effective a flu vaccines, which seldom reach 50%. This virus will be with us for a long time. Maintaining a lockdown until everyone is “totally safe” simply means we all commit suicide.

The real question is what have we achieved with the time allegedly saved? Do we know enough to provide acceptably effective protection to the least vulnerable working population so they can go back to work? If not, why not and when will we? The clock is ticking until either there is massive civil unrest and disobedience or we slip into an extended recession.

May 7, 2020 9:51 am

It would be nice to have information on how the first person in a dwelling caught the disease while lockdowns are in effect. Most infections come from someone spreading to others that live with them. So how is this first person in dwelling getting it ? Where and How are they getting it.

Ian Coleman
May 7, 2020 11:23 am

I have no formal evidence to back up what I’m about to write. I’m guessing, and extrapolating from my own feelings and thoughts to everybody else.

But here’s what I suspect: A lot of people are enjoying the pandemic. In Canada, if you’ve lost your job, you can stay at home and do what you want, including sleep all day, and the government sends you money. You’re heading for a certain amount of impoverishment in a few months, but so are hundreds of thousands of other people. And it’s not your fault. There are a lot of people for whom that is just one happy holiday from the everyday stressors of real life.

Until I retired at age 65 three years ago, I worked in a carwash. Adjusted for inflation, I never came close to making two thousand dollars a month, which is what the government of Canada sends people who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19. When I worked at the carwash (which I did for ten years) I had daily problems with physical fatigue. Also, at that particular car wash, it was normal practice for managers to scream at you, and insult you to your face. In fact, the capacity to take aggressive abuse from angry people was a talent you had to cultivate to work there. If the government had told me at any time I worked there that I could stay at home and do anything I wanted, and that I was to be paid more money than I could get by working, I’d have been a pretty happy guy.

Reply to  Ian Coleman
May 7, 2020 12:24 pm

You were wasted at that car wash. Your perceptions and your analysis are nicely put. I’m thinking that you are right. The anxiety spawned by lockdown might be very seriously overplayed. Yes, with the economy trashed there will be hell to pay, one day, and then anxiety will be justified. Pity you’ve retired. You have the right stuff..

Reply to  Ian Coleman
May 7, 2020 12:39 pm

A lot of the nursing homes lost their employees instantly when the Gov’ts announced unemployment insurance and stimulus monies to people not to go to work. This unfortunately led to a lot of mismanagement at many of these nursing/senior care facilities which led to a whole lot of needless infection of the Wuhan Coronavirus and resulting premature morbidity. In Quebec, many of the nursing homes were found practically deserted of any employees with the residents either dying or dead, or laying in their own excrement and malnourished and dehydrated. Absolutely disgusting that the Gov’t didn’t think some of these broad policies through.

I doubt no Government worker in NA, NZ, OZ or UK lost their job, and most probably ‘worked’ from home. Nor will they lose their perks and gold plated indexed pensions so in effect, they didn’t experience anything like a self employed business person has or will face. I would expect at some point there will be class warfare from those that effectively live off the dole at taxpayer expense, and those who have to scramble to make a living every day and don’t keep up with the cost of living. Especially now. This was happening already anyway, but now it will even be worse. Considering a Gov’t worker that works a 35 hour week, after you deduct for holiday pay, stat holidays, sick time, retirement benefits and pension etc, they don’t even work an average 4-5 hours a day for what they are paid.

It makes me wonder what the real productivity is for a society that pays people not to go to work? Or a lot of jobs that supposedly work from home, but there is no real productivity anyway. Perhaps some jobs can successfully transition to some degree, but many job descriptions just don’t allow for working from home. And AI and robotization will just make this harder for people to maintain good paying jobs outside of certain sectors like Gov’t workers who have license to be paid. Bringing home the supply chains from China will be a good place to start to re-creating real productivity and new jobs.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Earthling2
May 7, 2020 1:57 pm

The Congress passed bills to help pay for unemployment and for small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payrol, and Congress, in it’s typical stupidity, put in a provision that ended up with people collectng more money from unemployment payments than they would get working their normal job, and several employers have said they were having trouble getting their former employees to come back to work because they were making more on unemployment.

That’s probably going to be fixed fairly quickly. They are getting ready to amend the rules so that if you refuse to take your old job back, you won’t get the unemployment payment in its stead.

Reply to  Earthling2
May 7, 2020 9:59 pm

Hear hear! I have been self employed most of my working life and have been given exactly nothing by the government, despite my regular ‘contributions’, and I am absolutely sick of being lectured by well paid, secure public sector types with guaranteed, index linked final salary pensions, (paid for by muppets like me, natch), who haven’t the first clue about how the real world actually works- because they have not spent a day of their lives in it!

May 7, 2020 12:04 pm

Fear causes a cascade of harmful physiological responses that also impairs immune function. Everyone knows that stress kills but this has not been part of risk assessment.

May 7, 2020 12:24 pm

I counted 12 references to meta-analyses in this article.

Speaking of which, why are researchers not doing meta-analyses that incorporate existing data, even though not of the quality of large-scale, double blind, statistically rigorous studies? The latter take a long time to conduct, and in many cases do not produce replicable results anyway (see Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.)

Such meta-analyses could include data relevant to coronavirus such as comparisons between countries with and without BCG tuberculosis vaccinations, small-scale poorly-designed studies, hydroxychloroquine use by people with autoimmune diseases, etc.

Why are we stuck with this slavish adherence to a ritualistic requirement in a time of crisis? In this situation, it looks like Voltaire’s “the best is the enemy of the good” (which, imperfect as it is, potentially might save a lot of lives.)

“Robert Watson-Watt, who developed early warning radar in Britain to counter the rapid growth of the Luftwaffe, propounded a ‘cult of the imperfect’ which he stated as ‘Give them the third best to go on with; the second best comes too late, the best never comes.'”

Farmer Ch E retired
May 7, 2020 1:21 pm

A question for the authors Andrew Glen, Ph.D. and James D. Agresti:

Have any studies been performed trying to correlate stress to personal debt load or net present worth? Those who don’t feel obligated to live on OPM (i.e. debt) may be in a much better position to persevere a lockdown w/ reduced stress. It’s amazing how a mortgage, car payment, or credit card bill can increase stress if there is a loss of income and no money in savings. Credit cards are unwittingly used by many as emergency funds in place of savings.


Ian Coleman
May 7, 2020 2:02 pm

Thank you for your kind comments, mothcatcher. The working poor are like a colony. Affluent people know that they’re there, and see them every day, and rely on the services they provide,but have little idea what their lives are like.

Most of the Canadian-born people I worked with at the carwash had not made it into high school, let alone earned a high school diploma. If you are a regular follower of WUWT, it is likely that you haven’t had so much a five minute conversation with someone with an IQ of 90 or less in your life, so you can only imagine what it must be like to have been unable to get through Grade 7. Most of the people I knew at the carwash were profoundly shy, because they had been shunned and scorned and mocked since childhood.

In Canada, our opposition leader, Andrew Scheer, has raised the very real possibility that, if the government keeps sending low-wage workers money, none will want to go back to work. That’s actually a valid point, although it casually makes the point that you have to have the threat of dire poverty to force people to work for minimum wage. The arguments against raising the minimum wage are usually presented in the spirit of preserving the jobs of low=wage workers, but actually the arguers are primarily interested in protecting the prosperity of the employers whose profits depend on paying their workers minimum wage.

john harmsworth
May 7, 2020 2:15 pm

Don’t get too anxious about this one, but perhaps some of you might share my astonishment. #0 or so years ago I had a subscription to Scientific American. I found t to be an excellent magazine both in terms of its content and writing quality and I enjoyed it very much and learned a great deal. Sometime around 15 years ago or perhaps earlier I became somewhat disappointed in it as it appeared to be “dumbed down”. This got much worse after I stopped reading it regularly.
I see in this month’s issue they have an article by one Jane Qiu from Beijing “recounting” the story of Shi Jianglin, China’s “bat woman” and how she was awakened on Dec.30th with urgent news of the outbreak. Does this rag have no shame whatsoever? They are literally the publishers of CCP propaganda now. Stunning!

Rudolf Huber
May 7, 2020 4:34 pm

Nobody ever sat down and did a proper risk assessment. Determine what the risk is, how likely it is to hit us, and what the impact will be if it does. And lastly, what our mitigation would be and what it costs us? Heartless – no. Realistic. It’s heartless to send COVID positive patients into retirement homes where the virus spreads like wildfire. Those places should be sealed off for the sake of the elderly. But the productive population should keep going, using all protective measures. Locking down feels safe, but we are not. Locked in eyes wide shut is way more dangerous than being out and seeing COVID for what it really is.

Don Jindra
May 7, 2020 8:40 pm

I can’t believe how many people accept this as if it’s science. People here should know better than to belive anything promoted by the so-called mental health experts.

Robert of Texas
May 8, 2020 2:43 am

Quit making stuff up…it is a known fact that 87.6% of all statistics are just made up on the spot.

“A 2015 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry…”

A meta-analysis of psychiatric papers? REALLY? It doesn’t matter how many papers you include if they are all based on POOR SCIENCE. There are few fields WORSE than psychiatry in poor controls, poor testing, and biased results. If I want to understand people I will ask my mother (or would if she were still alive). The LAST person I would ask is a psychiatrist. It’s like asking a politician if they lie.

If you are going to make a claim that stress kills lots of people, then Trump must have killed 10 times more people than are alive today. (That’s 1000% by the way…)

People who die of stress are going to die of stress no matter what virus or condition comes along – there is ALWAYS something to stress these people out.

May 8, 2020 4:03 am

Bad enough that people were worried about COVID. It’s like that wasn’t good enough so they shut the economy down and then people had to worry about rent/house payments, heat bills, electric bills, phone bills, cable bills, water bills, car payments, insurance payments, etc. That additional stress came at a time they didn’t need, making people more susceptible to getting sick. Why didn’t they let US decide what we needed to worry about? Turns out shutting people up in their homes was the largest cause of COVID illness. Something like 60% of hospitalizations were people who got sick at home. Not helpful.

Jeffery P
May 8, 2020 9:56 am

I’m certain somebody in Washington is right now trying to put disability funding for ChiCom Wuhan SARS-2 in the next relief bill.

A number normal person might think, let’s just stop doing the things that make people anxious. We’ll have to follow social distancing rules, sure. But in government the way to fix a problem created by one program is another program.

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