Wednesday , April 14 2021
Home / Don Boudreaux /Explaining My Position on Covid-19 and the Restrictions

Explaining My Position on Covid-19 and the Restrictions

Summary:
In my latest column for AIER I offer some of the reasons why I believe that the public’s fear of Covid-19 is far in excess of what the facts warrant. I explain also why I so adamantly oppose lockdowns, mask mandates, and other hygiene-socialism measures. And in the conclusion I offer what I believe is a sound justification for describing this public hysteria with the attention-grabbing term “Covid Derangement Syndrome.” A slice: Covid-19 is disproportionately lethal to the very old and ill, and heavily so. In the United States as of February 17th, 2021, nearly a third (31.8%) of “All Deaths Involving Covid-19” – as defined and reported by the CDC – were of persons 85 years old and older. Nearly 60 percent (59.6%) of these deaths were of persons 75 years of age and older. More than 81

Topics:
Don Boudreaux considers the following as important: , , , , ,

This could be interesting, too:

Don Boudreaux writes Dan Klein’s Open Letter to Tyler Cowen

Don Boudreaux writes An Open Letter to Tyler Cowen on The Great Barrington Declaration

Don Boudreaux writes Some Non-Covid Links

Don Boudreaux writes Some Covid Links

In my latest column for AIER I offer some of the reasons why I believe that the public’s fear of Covid-19 is far in excess of what the facts warrant. I explain also why I so adamantly oppose lockdowns, mask mandates, and other hygiene-socialism measures. And in the conclusion I offer what I believe is a sound justification for describing this public hysteria with the attention-grabbing term “Covid Derangement Syndrome.” A slice:

  • Covid-19 is disproportionately lethal to the very old and ill, and heavily so. In the United States as of February 17th, 2021, nearly a third (31.8%) of “All Deaths Involving Covid-19” – as defined and reported by the CDC – were of persons 85 years old and older. Nearly 60 percent (59.6%) of these deaths were of persons 75 years of age and older. More than 81 percent (81.3%) were of people 65 years of age and older. Despite media-trumpeted exceptions, serious suffering from Covid-19 is largely an experience for very old people.
  • .

  • Although Covid-19 is indeed unusually dangerous to very old people, it’s still not close to being a death warrant. The infection fatality rate for 85-year-olds is estimated to be 15 percent; for 75-year-olds it’s estimated to be 4.6 percent. For 65-year-olds, Covid’s infection fatality rate is estimated to be 1.4 percent. For 55-year-olds it’s estimated to be 0.4 percent.
  • .

  • Covid’s overall lethality compared to that of the seasonal flu is no more than10 times greater. (Some estimates have Covid’s lethality, compared to that of the flu, to be as low as 3.5 times greater.) Of course, because Covid’s lethality undeniably rises significantly with age, for the elderly Covid is far more than 10 times as deadly than is the flu, and for young people Covid is much less than ten times as deadly. (Keep in mind that the numbers in this and the previous two paragraphs come chiefly from before any vaccines were administered.)
  • .

  • Since the Spring of 2020, hospitals in the U.S. have had a financial incentive to inflate their Covid numbers. As reported on April 24, 2020, by USA Today, “The coronavirus relief legislation created a 20% premium, or add-on, for COVID-19 Medicare patients.” Covid inflation occurred outside of the U.S. as well. In Toronto, for example, officials admit that they are inflating the Covid death count: Here’s Toronto Public Health: “Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.” (I encourage you to read the whole Twitter thread.)
  • .

  • Lockdowns themselves have negative health consequences. How could they not, even if the only such effect arises because of people’s increased difficulty of visiting physicians for non-Covid-related illnesses and injuries? But there is evidence that negative health consequences of lockdowns extend beyond those that arise from delayed or foregone medical treatments.
  • .

  • There is credible evidence that lockdowns do not significantly reduce people’s exposure to the coronavirus.
  • .

  • Lockdowns have negative personal and social consequences. Avoiding contact with family and friends, even during holidays. Inability to fraternize at your favorite gym, coffee shop, bar, or restaurant. Restrictions on travel. Even if you believe that these costs are worth paying, you cannot deny that these costs are serious.
  • .

  • Lockdowns have a severe negative impact on economic activity. How could they not, given that people are prevented from going to work and from engaging in much ordinary commercial activity? There’s debate about how much of the decline in economic activity is caused by voluntary action and how much is caused by the forcible lockdowns. Even in light of the likelihood that people’s fear of Covid is further stoked by the very fact that governments’ resort to the dramatic action of locking us down, evidence exists that a great deal of economic damage was caused by the lockdowns themselves.

Comments

Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *