Do the Human Costs Exceed the Lockdown’s Benefits?

In my opinion, the human costs of the nationwide lockdown have exceeded the benefits. Unemployment, harm to children, and suicides all need to be factored into any decisions to continue any lockdowns.

There are no cost-free lockdowns, as the following sections will explain.

The Lockdown Models Were Wrong and Haven’t Been Corrected; Children Need to be in School.

Below is my summary of a 6/18/20 interview of Dr. Scott Atlas, an accomplished physician, and a scholar of public health. Please watch the whole interview, available on YouTube at:

Dr. Atlas says the initial lockdown models were egregiously wrong in their death rate projections. The models also (inexplicably) failed to take into account the costs of the lockdown.  Those models have not been updated but it is those models that are being used to justify calls for continued lockdowns.

Dr. Atlas says the initial botching of the models was somewhat understandable. What is not understandable is the continued lockdowns now that we have actual fatality data, not projections.  The cost of the continued lockdown is not worth it.

Dr. Atlas says we need to open the schools, because the children need schooling. There is virtually zero risk of death in children. There is also minimal risk of the children transmitting the disease to their parents. There is very little risk of transmission from kids to teachers, because most of the teachers are young.

The harms from closing the schools outweigh the risks of opening them. Remote learning is not nearly as effective as in-person.

Serious child abuse is up 35% during the lockdown, especially among families with incomes below $40,000.00 where there is the highest unemployment.

Closing schools directly harms children.  Since there is zero Covid risk to children, how in good conscience can we keep them closed?

Suicides Have Spiked, Outpacing Covid Deaths.

The following blocks of text are from a 5/22/20 article by Tristan Justice.  Please see the full article here:

California doctors warn a surge in suicides is out-pacing deaths from coronavirus as pandemic lockdowns take a far greater toll on American life than the virus itself. Dr. Mike deBoisblank who serves as the head of the trauma department at John Muir Medical Center in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay told ABC 7 his hospital has seen a “year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” deBoisblank said, pointing at the state’s stay-home orders as the primary culprit for the spike in crises.

Now the California doctor is calling for an end to the lockdowns destroying the nation’s psyche.

“Personally, I think it’s time,” said deBoisblank. “I think originally, this (the shelter-in-place order) was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that and our other community health is suffering.”

Kasey Hansen is a trauma nurse who has worked at the John Muir Medical Center for 33 years and echoed deBoisblank’s concerns.

“What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,” Hansen told ABC 7. “I have never seen so much intentional injury.”

The mental health non-profit, Well Being Trust, estimates that upwards of 75,000 will ultimately succumb to the pandemic not through the virus but through deaths of despair by suicide and substance abuse. Last week, addiction expert Tim Ryan told The Federalist that relapses and drug overdoses as “through the roof” as Americans cling to numbing vices to cope.


These two paragraphs are also from the 5/22/20 article by Tristan Justice.  I think they sum up the human argument for ending the lockdowns:

Allysen Efferson, a therapist in East Tennessee told The Federalist that ending the lockdowns and allowing people to reclaim their meaning and dignity through work is one of the best first steps to rejuvenating the nation’s spirits.

“Getting Americans back to work is a way in which we can address the mental illness portion of this if not directly than indirectly,” Efferson said. “We know that in a job, people find purpose. There’s dignity in being able to provide for yourself and your family. Continuing to keep people in lockdown for the vast majority of us takes away our primary source of well-being: our job.”

Thank you!

Michael Oswald

Please note: the above post contains educational information. It is not intended as legal advice. Engage an attorney who is licensed in your state to get advice on dealing with any specific legal issue.

© 2020 Michael S. Oswald

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