Worse Than You Think

 There is talk of another round of lockdowns for the Omicron variant and the winter weather, since Covid does seem to be seasonal, so it seems reasonable to give them an evaluation so far.  There have been a lot of other, more informed people than me talking about whether lockdowns have been effective (my understanding of the peer reviewed literature is that they have not been shown to have statistically significant positive effects), but not much talk about the costs.

That seems weird to me, haven’t people been talking more about the overdose deaths, destruction of the economy, and so on coming from the lockdowns?  How Australia is having the military round up people and put them in camps and many countries having lockdowns of only the unvaccinated?  How peoples’ bodily autonomy is being violated, and they are being stripped of their livelihoods?

Sure they have.  I do really appreciate that.  But what about the number of deaths in the third world from this?  A number that in any other circumstance would be rightly called a genocide, but is hard to notice because it is buried in statistics.

How many people in the third world will die from the lockdowns?  It is hard to be sure, since there are disagreements over the number of deaths from poverty, but it is in the millions.  Every year, roughly 500,000 people die from tainted water.  1,500,000 die from indoor air pollution.  300,000 – 9,000,000 die from hunger.  These 2.3 to 11 million deaths a year are due to poverty and are entirely preventable.  These deaths are mostly youth children. 

What does this have to do with the lockdowns?  The lockdowns have pushed roughly 100 million people back into absolute poverty, increasing the number of people below that line by 17%.  Many others have been made poorer or had dropping standards of living due to the lockdowns.  Take all of those deaths above, take 17% of that, and realize those hundreds of thousands or millions of deaths will keep happening every year since people in absolute poverty are often trapped there.

India has had more deaths from lockdown induced starvation than Covid.  The projected 400,000 children that will die this year in Yemen is a combination of Covid lockdowns and the US/Saudi alliance bombing their farms and water systems.  There is a 6 times increase in famine-like conditions in the world.  Remember, the US is the world’s largest food exporter, and our shelves are sometimes empty.  How much worse is it for the countries that rely on us?

Did it have to be this way?  No.  People were warning us in the beginning, and throughout, that lockdowns would lead to the deaths of millions of the poorest in the world and they were ignored.  If you were against lockdowns you didn’t have an argument, you just wanted haircuts, remember?  Malawi is a good example of this, since their people protested and fought.  They stopped the lockdowns entirely, and they have had some of the world’s lowest Covid deaths and infections ever since: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/malawi/.

Why does this all matter?  Because politicians are pushing for lockdowns again, and this will lead to far more deaths than Covid can ever inflict.  The politicians and pundits who pushed for this intentionally ignored the economist and humanitarians, and they should be stopped and treated like the blood soaked monsters that they are.  

Drake Lundstrom, FCLP Co-Chair