John Hopkins study

From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been confusion about just what we’re dealing with and how best to keep ourselves safe.

Some of this muddying of the facts can be attributed to China’s seemingly-purposeful downplaying of the severity of the virus. At the same time, some are due to the sheer and undeniable reality that this novel virus was simply misunderstood at times.

There is but a faint memory still of a time, early in the pandemic, when masks were not considered necessary, and the nation was told not to purchase them in bulk to keep hospitals well-supplied.

Now, a new study from the folks at Johns Hopkins University is providing a bit more clarity to the do’s-and-don’t’s of COVID response, but the results have shocked many.

Lockdowns during the first COVID-19 wave in the spring of 2020 only reduced COVID-19 mortality by .2% in the U.S. and Europe, according to a Johns Hopkins University meta-analysis of several studies.

“While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted,” the researchers wrote. “In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

The researchers – Johns Hopkins University economics professor Steve Hanke, Lund University economics professor Lars Jonung, and special advisor at Copenhagen’s Center for Political Studies Jonas Herby – analyzed the effects of lockdown measures such as school shutdowns, business closures, and mask mandates on COVID-19 deaths.

“We find little to no evidence that mandated lockdowns in Europe and the United States had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality rates,” the researchers wrote.

And that’s not all.

The researchers also examined shelter-in-place orders, finding that they reduced COVID-19 mortality by 2.9%.

Studies that looked at only shelter-in-place orders found they reduced COVID-19 mortality by 5.1%, but studies that looked at shelter-in-place orders along with other lockdown measures found that shelter-in-place orders actually increased COVID-19 mortality by 2.8%.

The researchers concluded that limiting gatherings may have actually increased COVID-19 mortality.

The news is sure to kick off another round of COVID controversy, particularly among those who railed against lockdowns earlier in the pandemic.

Cross-Posted with Flag ane Cross