Issues & Insights
COVID-19 virus. Source: Centers for Disease Control

Death, Despair, And Lockdowns

The old saying that the cure is deadlier than the disease is a worn-out cliche. But that doesn’t mean it can’t make a point. The pandemic lockdowns are a perfect example of a banality being absolutely true.

Over about two-and-one-half years COVID-19 has killed a little more than 1 million Americans and another 5.5 million in the rest of the world. It’s a grim toll. At least its deadly effects will decrease as it becomes endemic.

The same can’t be said for the lockdowns. Their poison will be killing victims for years.

A recent article from the London Telegraph posted in Yahoo News tells the story of “​​experts” believing “decisions taken by the government in the earliest stages of the pandemic may now be coming back to bite.”

“Policies that kept people indoors, scared them away from hospitals and deprived them of treatment and primary care are finally taking their toll,” said the Telegraph.

For more than three months, excess deaths in England and Wales have averaged around 1,000 a week, and none are due to COVID.

It’s not as if the decision-makers weren’t warned. Robert Dingwall, a Nottingham Trent University professor and a government adviser during the pandemic, told the Telegraph that “the picture seems very consistent with what some of us were suggesting from the beginning.”

On our side of the Atlantic, “from April 2020 through at least the end of 2021, Americans died from non-COVID causes at an average annual rate 97,000 in excess of previous trends,” says a National Bureau of Economic Research paper.

It further contends that “excess mortality continues into calendar year 2022,” though it’s safe to say they will persist well past that date.

The authors, one from the University of Chicago Economics Department, the other a partner from a data and investment research firm, say “it should be no surprise that a widespread disruption to patient circumstances would degrade health and even elevate mortality from chronic conditions. Nevertheless, early in the pandemic some experts mocked this perspective as a ‘pet theory about the fatal dangers of quarantine.’” 

While the leading causes of excess fatalities were hypertension and heart disease, the paper also cited “deaths of despair or deaths of boredom,” which one author noted in a separate paper could be presumably caused by “social isolation.”

The lockdowns have not only been deadly, they brought economic catastrophe (which has its own lethality – economists even have a multiplier they use to calculate deaths due to unemployment); an agonizing mental health crisis; delayed child development; and possibly irreversible educational losses. 

An example of just how uninterested the lockdown thugs are in the damage they inflicted is the shameless indifference shown by California Gov. Gavin Newsom. In announcing last week a $4.7 billion initiative to improve kids’ mental health, he never once acknowledged the Broken State’s school closure rules that Draco would have loved as the primary factor in depression and suicide among the young – or what the governor called “a stacking of stress the likes of which none of us could have conceived of.” 

“The scope of human activity touched by lockdown is overwhelming,” Jay Bhattacharya and Mikko Packalen wrote nearly a year ago. Elected and unelected government officials “closed schools and playgrounds, shuttered businesses, and barred international travel.” Children were told “they could not visit their friends,” masks were draped on toddlers, university students were chased from campuses, and the elderly were forced to die alone, their families prevented “from gathering to honor” their passing. The world’s poor, were denied “the ability of many to feed their families.”

Yet outside of a few local school board members being voted out of office, we can’t name a single person who has paid for the crime of locking down a free nation. Yes, that’s right, it was a crime, and if the guilty aren’t punished, they will surely offend again. That can’t be allowed to happen.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Anthony Fauci was an esteemed member of the Beltway’s squadron of medical experts for many decades along with Francis Collins at NIH, both men doing excellent work in the public interest. They handled other novel viruses in the past, but SARS-CoV-2 was a particularly pesky new edition which brought the global epidemiological community to its knees, especially in our country. The major problem of Drs. Fauci and Collins was tunnel vision, the inability to countenance other ideas like the Great Barrington Declaration and the possibility that this highly destructive virus had been partially financed by U.S. grants for gain of function research. Hubris is often the ally of Humpty Dumpty.

    • We see paul spreading more lies here – of course Dr Fauci did NOT contribute to this fantasy of “gain of function” research.

      • There is ample, unequivocal documentation that Fauci approved grants to EcoHealth with full knowledge that EcoHealth was funding gain of function research at the Wuhan Lab.

      • So the video of Fauci saying exactly that is some right wing conspiracy?

        You may be suffering a stroke. Put down the keyboard and dial 911.

    • Help us all understand how illegally funding a bio weapon was “excellent work?”

  • Once in a while its good to stop by here to see what message the radical Right is pushing. This is a prime example.

    One basis of the article is that “people” stayed away from treatment, away from hospitals. This is true. Who is responsible? The radical Right, who spread the lies that the COVID-19 virus was a hoax, that medical professionals could not be trusted, the Dr Fauci (a true hero) was involved in developing the virus. The radical Right claimed that no one was in hospitals because the parking lots were empty – of course they were because we could not have unvaccinated people visiting and possibly spreading a deadly virus.

    Yes people avoided treatment and many people today still distrust their doctors and vaccines in particular. For this reason we see polio starting to spread, other deadly diseases spreading in unvaccinated populations.

    These populations are frequently the radical Right but they also can infect innocent people who thought that vaccines were no longer required! We feel bad that Pressley Stutts and Marc Bernier and Bob Enyart died but they were right wing lunatics and will not be missed. They took their chances and had to endure the consequences. Now they are mostly forgotten even by their right wing audiences.

    • Easy to see why you’re “EX” GOP and nice of you to let us know at first glance that you’ll posting absolute rubbish.

    • … And all those Black and Hispanic grandparents who died at home because they were afraid to go to the emergency room were, what, White Supremacists? Q-Anon Preppers? How can anyone even suggest such absolute nonsense?

      Fauci, Birx, Collins and the rest of them all succeeded in scaring the bejeesus out of half the population. People in New York, Illinois, Michigan and California were arrested for walking outside, alone, far from other people. None of this had anything to do with the “radical Right.” It represented criminal abuse of power by Democratic politicians. It didn’t happen in Florida, or South Dakota, or Wyoming, and after the one episode with that poor bar owner in (deep blue) Austin, it never happened again in Texas.

    • Hilarious! Help us all understand – what does “radical right” look like? How is “extreme Liberty” dangerous?

      Fauci, along with over a dozen Democrat mega donors, funneled millions into the development of his bio weapon for over 20 years – many of those years illegally. They partnered with the Chinese because no civilized country would allow such development.

      Democrats have unmasked themselves. They are 100% all-in on totalitarianism, willing to see millions dead to stay n power.

      Enjoy your shellacking this November.

      • galt – let’s see how dr oz does, if Scott Kelly is reelected in Arizona, etc. Why does Georgia have two Democratic Senators? Because of trump. Why does Arizona not have Martha McSally as a Senator? Partly due to Mark Kelly being a great candidate but also due to the poor support from trump.

  • In addition to that, the quite successful Swedish model of protecting those at risk and letting the rest gain the herd immunity was censored out of the public discussion sphere by Big Tech.
    Someone should hang for that.

  • it was simply amazing to me that doctors and nurses battling the health problem daily, and unvaccinated at the time, were heroes, until they refused to get vaccinated, and then they were looking at being terminated

    this despite them not getting the disease, and most likely having built up immunity without vaccination.

    As to people not getting treated, that is factual, as with hospitals in crisis mode, it seemed that routine care and needs were not met. This was true in dentistry as well as other specialities where offices closed and patients were out of luck.

  • This infuriating reality was entirely predictable to anyone who was paying attention, right from the first “two weeks to stop the spread.” The first reports of people dying at home of heart attacks because they were afraid to go (or prohibited from going!) to the hospital, the sharp dropoff in cancer screening and people showing up for their chemotherapy, were all many of us needed to see to know that the death toll from the “cure” would far exceed anything the disease itself would cause. And that was before we realized that the mandates would destroy an entire generation’s ability to gain an education and, ultimately, their chance to succeed in life.

    The slobbering accolades the media is spewing at Anthony Fauci are nauseating. He should be prosecuted on several million counts of, at the very least, criminally negligent homicide, perhaps with a conspiracy or RICO enhancement to his sentence.

  • The lock downs were never a reaction to the bio weapon Democrats funded, and never about “our safety.” The bio weapon was the excuse for the lock downs. Next time will be much worse.

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