Was Lockdown Worth the Cost? 18-Month Quest to Find Out What the Data Says

Goal of this Project: to determine, over a 18-24 month period, to see what unambiguous scientific study and scientific research reveals about the efficacy and/or “cost” of global, national, and regional lockdowns.

Hypothesis Attempted: I will desire, however, to bring a hypothesis to the forefront of this project and see if the data and scientific research confirms/supports, or rejects, it.

Nota Bene:
As I am not a scientist myself, nor do I remotely pretend to be one, I will be exclusively relying on Scientists and true scientific studies and research papers in this area of study from real researchers, professors, doctors, and medical professionals.

I shall attempt at all times to remain completely unbiased–letting the data reveal and disclose the evidence at hand.

If, after 18-24+ months, there is a preponderance of evidence one way or another, I will conclude this project (stating any/all caveats as they are) and formulate a final summary, posting it here.

This is not to say this summary statement, once provided, will be a definitive or conclusive statement of fact, but merely a summary of the research as of that particular point in time.

It should go without saying that science is never “fixed” or that a story is ever completely told; merely, the scientific method is one of endless questioning of data and asserting and/or postulating new hypothesis to challenge the boundaries of thought and using empirical data to reject, support, confirm, or negate the body of knowledge and/or the accepted narrative.

Project Methodology:

Over the next 18-24 months, scientific research studies shall be compiled here, as they are released by the scientific community and as I am made aware of them.

These research studies, to the extend they reveal information pertinent to this project, will be briefly summarized and/or listed here for posterity. The “net effect” of their findings (where/when possible) will be added to this collection of information.

There shall be a “pecking order” to the quality of research papers and scientific data compiled here. The “double blind, peer reviewed” study is the gold standard of scientific research; so, where applicable, those types of studies shall be given far greater weight. The additional order or operation might be summarized as such:

“double-blind, peer reviewed” > “single blind, peer-reviewed” > “peer reviewed” > “double bind, not peer reviewed” > “randomized controlled trial, not peer reviewed” > “not, randomized, blind, or peer reviewed” > non-scientific research or official studies (NB: this last ‘category’ will NOT be included in this project as it is not scientific research, by nature)

Stated Hypothesis for this Project

The quantitative costs of Lockdown are huge–and these costs can be compiled in two primary ways: (1) human lives lost due to lockdowns, (2) economic impact due to lockdowns. It is the hypothesis of this project that the COSTS of lockdowns vastly exceed the value, or BENEFIT, of lockdowns–both at the national level and at the global level.

Analytical Methodology

(1) In terms of “human lives lost due to lockdowns:”
This project will value a human life (“one life”) equal to another. Stated another way, and as philosophically intriguing as it might be, there will be no attempt to weigh the “value” of the life of a 104 year old person in comparison to a 2 year old infant. For the case of this study, one life saved (e.g. due to ‘covid lockdowns’) will be equal to one life lost (due to covid).

(2) In terms of “economic impact due to lockdowns:
This project will value economic devastation based on the impact on factors such as jobs lost, businesses shut down, wealth destroyed, and GDP (gross domestic product) impacts due to lockdowns for the country/region. Other ancillary impacts will also be factored in–as the research studies bring them to bare.

NB: As there is no good or well-established way to juxtapose the “human death toll” in relation to an economic impact, there will be no attempt made in this project to do so. This project will not try to cast moral or quantitative economic tenants to ‘a life saved’. In other words, even “a billion dollars in economic destruction” cannot quantitatively compare to the human value of a child’s life. So in this respect, these two primary analytical factors used by this project (lives saved/lost, and economic impacts) will be treated as two completely disparate areas and sets of data. No effort will be made to compare, extrapolate, draw inference from, or juxtapose them.

Research Studies Available (just listing them for now)

  1. Scientific Journal: European Journal of Clinical Investigation
    • Title: “Assessing Mandatory Stay‐at‐Home and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of COVID‐19”
  2. Scientific Journal: medRxiv
  3. Scientific Journal: Nature Human Behaviour
    • Title: “Ranking the effectiveness of worldwide COVID-19 government interventions”
    • Date: November 16, 2020
    • Type of Study: Peer-Reviewed
    • Countries Covered: 226 countries
    • Link to Study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-020-01009-0.pdf
  4. EClinical Medicine
  5. Scientific Journal: NCBI
  6. Scientific Journal: Science Magazine
  7. Scientific Journal: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
  8. Frontiers in Public Health
  9. MedRIX
    1. Title: COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdown: response time is more important than its strictness
    2. Date: October 2020
    3. Countries Served: Multiple
    4. Type of Study: Unknown (TBD)
    5. Link to Study: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.11.20128520v1.article-info


Not part of this project but interesting studies on a related topic:

  1. Scientific Journal: Annals of Internal Medicine
  2. Scientific Journal: Nature

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