Across America and Europe, many government officials are resuming lockdowns and tightening restrictions in the face of rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Several studies show there is little correlation between government restrictions and lower COVID mortality rates. Here are three of them.
1. The Lancet, July
A study published on July 21 in The Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal founded in 1823, indicated that government lockdowns were ineffective.
Researchers collected data from the 50 countries with the most cases and found lockdowns were not associated with mortality reductions in critical COVID-19 cases, although factors such as obesity, smoking, and life expectancy were.
“…government actions such as border closures, full lockdowns, and a high rate of COVID-19 testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality,” the study concluded.
2. Frontiers in Public Health, November
Similarly, a study published by Frontiers in Public Health several months after The Lancet paper found neither lockdowns nor lockdown stringency were correlated with lower death rates. Researchers crunched data from 160 countries over the first 8 months of the pandemic, testing numerous factors—such as public health, demographics, government policy, economy, and environment—to determine how each correlated with COVID-19 mortality.
“Stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate,” the researchers concluded.
3. Tel Aviv University Study, October
Research from Tel Aviv University published in October on the website medRxiv said that strict lockdowns may not save lives. Researchers analyzed mobility data collected from iPhones and found no statistical association between lockdown severity and the number of COVID-19 fatalities.
“We would have expected to see fewer Covid-19 fatalities in countries with a tighter lockdown, but the data reveals that this is not the case,” the researchers explained.
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