Globally, almost every economy has shut down in an effort to combat the Coronavirus. However, very few have mentioned the implications of these shutdowns. According to estimates, the shutdowns themselves are killing more than COVID-19 is. Here’s proof.
According to data out of Australia from Sydney University, suicides within Australia are expected to increase by 50 percent due to the nationwide lockdown. The data has been supported by the Australian Medical Association. It is estimated that an additional 1,500 Australians will die. Comparatively, only 98 have died in the nation from COVID-19. This data suggests that the shutdown in Australia could be more than 10 times more deadly than the virus itself. According to the research, the shutdown is expected to cause “a generational mental health crisis”. This crisis is expected to cause an increased number of suicides each year for the next 5 years. While this may seem disturbing, this is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Due to worldwide lockdowns, Tuberculosis treatment facilities have been shut down. The shutdown of these facilities is estimated to result in up to 6.3 million new Tuberculosis cases in the next 5 years. Subsequently, up to 1.4 million new Tuberculosis related deaths are also expected over the same period, all thanks to worldwide shutdowns.
In Mexico, their GDP is estimated to drop by around 6.6% due to global lockdowns. Comparatively, Mexico’s GDP dropped by around 4.4% during their 1995-1996 financial crisis. During this time period, infant mortality rates increased by 0.4% due to the GDP drop. If the same data were to be applied today, over 150 additional Mexican babies will die due to the economic impact of lockdowns.
In the United Kingdom, the effects of nationwide lockdowns are extreme. In a mere 3 months, the U.K. GDP is estimated to collapse around 15%. Comparatively, the U.K. GDP only fell 6% over a 15 month period following the 2008 global financial crisis. According to reports out of the U.K, the 6% GDP decrease in 2008-2009 resulted in over 130,000 “preventable” deaths across the nation in a mere two years. Over 1,000 of these preventable deaths were suicides, who typically were young Brits. That’s the issue many don’t seem to understand. COVID-19 primarily impacts the elderly. Changing the lifestyles of billions of people while simultaneously causing a global recession impacts everyone.
While the impacts of economic shutdowns extend around the world, the U.S. has been hit hardest. Approximately 10% of the American workforce, or around 17 million Americans, have been put out of work due to the nationwide shutdowns. Everyone seems to ignore the deaths that will be caused by America’s devastated economy.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. had an unemployment rate of around 3.5%. This figure was the lowest it had been in over 50 years. Now, reports suggest that the U.S. unemployment rate will range from 15%-32%. If the unemployment rate dips below 24.9%, it would be a historic low, worse than it was during the Great Depression. The unemployment rate will be going from the best in 50 years to the worst point in American history in a matter of mere months. The effects of this are incredible. According to U.S. government data, the unemployed have a 63% higher death rate than the employed. The National Bureau of Economic Research provides even more specific data. According to their data, each 1% increase in unemployment results in a 3.3% increase in drug overdoses and a 1% increase in suicides. This means that every 1% increase in the unemployment rate causes 37,000 additional deaths.
Since the U.S. unemployment rate currently stands at 14.7%, 11 percentage points higher than it was mere months ago, it can be safely assumed that at least 400,000 Americans will die as a result. This is far greater than the roughly 80,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19. If the unemployment rate hits 32% as some estimates predict, an additional 600,000 Americans are expected to die as a result. Over 75,000 of these deaths would be due to either suicide or drug overdoses. This would bring lockdown related deaths to over 1 million.
Economic shutdowns may be well intended, but they are no longer necessary. This article is not meant to downplay COVID-19 related deaths. Over 80,000 Americans have lost their life due to the virus. But that occured with economic restrictions. Additionally, America is now adequately supplied. Infact, America is oversupplied in many areas. We are so oversupplied that we are now donating 1,000 ventilators to South Africa.
America needs to reopen. Washington has largely refused to offer further relief to most Americans beyond a one time $1,200 check. That would be adequate if Washington would allow for the nation to reopen, but they won’t. Forcing millions to go unemployed and die is murder, even if you send them a $1,200 check. Stabbing someone then tossing them a band aid an hour later is not adequate aid, yet that is essentially what Washington has done.
Reopening America starts by reopening schools. This will allow for parents to return to work. There is no need for schools to remain closed. In New York, the state with over 50% of America’s COVID-19 deaths, around 84% of deaths are people aged 60 or older. Unlike viruses such as Polio which disproportionately impact children, children seem to be mostly immune to this virus. Merely 3 children have died from COVID-19 in the state of New York. The same number of children have died of the flu within the state since March. While these deaths are sad, we don’t shut down schools for the flu, which also disproportionately impacts the elderly. We shouldn’t shut down schools due to COVID-19 either.
It is time to reopen America by first reopening our schools. The U.S. should tell the elderly to stay home and send our workers back to work. When a tornado hits Oklahoma, we don’t put the entire country on a tornado warning. The same goes for a virus that is almost entirely affecting the elderly. The elderly should be warned and perhaps even mandated to stay home. The rest of the country shouldn’t be put under such a mandate. Reopen America now to restart our economy. Anything less is murder.