Biblical and Constitutional Politics

Fitness for One and All

Update on Covid Deaths

Part Five

(Medically Useless and Destructive Lockdowns)

 

By Gary F. Zeolla


 

This multi-part article is continued from Update on Covid Deaths: Part Four (Both the Right and the Left Miss the Immense Disparate Covid Risk Factors)

 

“Medically Useless Lockdowns”

 

      I previously used the phrase “medically useless and destructive lockdowns.” My use of that phrase shows I am not in the camp with the left and its fearmongering and overreaction to the virus. The following study supports my use of the first half of that phrase, “medically useless:”

 

      This systematic review and meta-analysis are designed to determine whether there is empirical evidence to support the belief that “lockdowns” reduce COVID-19 mortality. Lockdowns are defined as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI). NPIs are any government mandate that directly restrict peoples’ possibilities, such as policies that limit internal movement, close schools and businesses, and ban international travel.

      This study employed a systematic search and screening procedure in which 18,590 studies are identified that could potentially address the belief posed. After three levels of screening, 34 studies ultimately qualified.

      Of those 34 eligible studies, 24 qualified for inclusion in the meta-analysis. They were separated into three groups: lockdown stringency index studies, shelter-in-place-order (SIPO) studies, and specific NPI studies. An analysis of each of these three groups support the conclusion that lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality.

      More specifically, stringency index studies find that lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average. SIPOs were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average. Specific NPI studies also find no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.

      While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted (John Hopkins. Literature Review).

 

      Despite the overall findings, there was some evidence to indicate that closing bars helped reduce deaths, the researchers found.

      “Closing nonessential businesses seems to have had some effect (reducing COVID-19 mortality by 10.6%), which is likely to be related to the closure of bars,” they said.

      According to the researchers, the timing of lockdowns, and their unintended consequences, may play a larger role in affecting mortality than expected.

      “Lockdowns have limited peoples’ access to safe (outdoor) places such as beaches, parks and zoos, or included outdoor mask mandates or strict outdoor gathering restrictions, pushing people to meet at less safe (indoor) places,” they wrote. “Indeed, we do find some evidence that limiting gatherings was counterproductive and increased COVID-19 mortality” (Newsmax. Johns Hopkins Researchers).

 

      Bars are different than most other indoor gatherings, as people are often packed in closed together, and they move around between groups, potentially infecting multiple groups of people. They are also drinking throughout their time in a bar, so mask wearing is not possible. That is different from restaurants, where people generally stay seated at their own tables and only interact with the group they came with. The tables are also usually spaced apart, so there is little chance of those at one table infecting those at another table. Only the waitress moving from table to table presents a risk of cross-contamination. But that can be mitigated somewhat by her wearing a mask and not getting too close to customers.

    That difference is important, as there was a lot of fighting here in Pennsylvania over lockdown orders that targeted bars but not restaurants. The attempt to distinguish between the two made for many questionable orders. But this study shows that attempt was not so crazy, as the right made it out to be. But that attempt to isolate bars for lockdowns is the only part of the lockdowns that made any sense. Most all other lockdowns pushed by the left had little effect on Covid. Especially nonsensical were lockdown of outdoor spaces, as transmission of Covid is minimal in outdoor settings. Closures of schools were also nonsensical, as children are at little risk from Covid.

     That is why this research by John Hopkins is astounding but not surprising. The lockdowns only reduced Covid mortality by 0.2%, yet they caused much needless suffering and economic hardship. I would also argue that tiny percentage of saved lives was offset by the increased risk from Covid due to the “Quarantine 15” – the fact that many people gained weight due to the lockdowns, putting them at higher risk from Covid. They also kept people inside, reducing their sun exposure and thus vitamin D levels, also increasing their risk from Covid. I previously documented that being overweight and low vitamin D status are the second and third greatest risk factors for serious illness form Covid, with increasing age being number one.

      The lockdowns of gyms contributed to that Quarantine 15. Just as bad was the effect it had on gyms, with one-third of gyms nationwide closing permanently. That is a lot of ruined lives and shattered dreams for those gym owners and their employees. Though many are now coming back, according to a report on my local ABC affiliate (WTAE on November 13, 2022).

      In any case, despite the importance of this lockdowns study, the mainstream media ignored it, probably because they were at the forefront of pushing the lockdowns with their fearmongering.

 

      However, the Johns Hopkins study received no mention on any of the five liberal networks this week. According to Grabien transcripts, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC all ignored the anti-lockdown findings after having spent much of the pandemic shaming red states with minimal restrictions and events deemed by critics as “superspreaders.”

      It wasn’t just the networks avoiding the study. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, Axios, Politico among other outlets also turned a blind eye to the findings, according to search results (Fox News. CNN).

 

“Destructive Lockdowns”

 

      The “destructive” part of my phrase is seen in multiple ways:

 

      From May 2020 to April 2021, the U.S. recorded 100,306 drug overdose deaths, a 28.5% increase from the previous year, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed. The unemployment rate peaked nationwide at 14.8% in April 2020, Congressional Research Service found (Newsmax. Lockdowns Reduced).

 

    Dr. Brian Lamb, an internal medicine physician for Allegheny Health Network, said overall drinking increased during the pandemic across the country, because there weren’t a lot of other things to do and it became a way to relieve anxiety...

    Dr. Duncan Clark, professor of psychiatry, school of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh ... said abusing alcohol can create family problems and lead to mental health issues. People sometimes think drinking will help with situations such as anxiety and depression because initially, one might feel more energy and then feel a sedating effect. Alcohol can disrupt the quality of sleep and other daily functions, according to experts (Trib Live. Dry January).

 

      Even worse is the lockdowns caused the influenza and RSV crises we are experiencing, as few attained natural immunity over the past two years to those illnesses due to those lockdowns. The following New York Post (NYP) article is from June 14, 2022. It predicts just what we saw over the past few months.

 

      Children are becoming infected with up to three different viruses at the same time after widespread COVID-19 lockdowns eviscerated their immune systems, doctors have warned.

      Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital in Connecticut has reported staggering numbers of young patients with cases of the adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus, influenza, and parainfluenza — in addition to COVID-19, the Washington Post reported….

      An uptick in cases of the flu and severe colds throughout the winter months is expected, but experts say the warm summer months aren’t seeing the same downturn in illnesses as previous years….

      Medics believe this could be a direct result of the strict pandemic regulations the world lived through in 2020 and 2021 — because we haven’t had a chance to build immunity to common viruses through exposure.

      “All of these decisions have consequences,” [Thomas] Murray [an infection control expert and associate professor of pediatrics at Yale] told the Washington Post.

      “It’s a massive natural experiment,” added Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and chief science officer at the digital health platform eMed.

      In addition, health professionals told the Washington Post they are concerned that some viruses may be surging in children because they missed out on primary care throughout the pandemic, as well as vaccinations not relating to COVID-19 (NYP. Kids infected).

 

      It is not just immunity to respiratory illnesses that was not attained due to the lockdowns but also to other illness, leading to a rise in liver disease among children:

 

      It’s a bit of an old story but remember all the kids who contracted serious liver issues once the lockdowns began to ease and the vaccines rolled out? Well, it happened. Some kids needed to have liver transplants. Was this a side effect of the COVID vaccine? That theory floated around for a while but was something much worse. It was the lockdowns themselves. It’s part of the endless stream of nonsensical COVID precautions that arguably did more harm to these kids than the actual virus. In the United States, an estimated 60 percent of adults and three-fourths of kids have recovered from the disease. It wasn’t some superbug. Keeping kids away from viruses they would have contracted at school, like the common cold, and acquiring natural immunity could have prevented this spate of liver issues (via BBC) (Townhall. Here’s).

 

      The two teams of researchers, from London and Glasgow, say infants exposed later than normal - because of Covid restrictions - missed out on some early immunity to:

 

         adenovirus, which normally causes colds and stomach upsets

         adeno-associated virus two, which normally causes no illness and requires a coinfecting “helper” virus - such as adenovirus - to replicate

 

      That could explain why some developed the unusual and worrying liver complications (BBC. Likely).

     Do not miss that Covid antivaxxers immediately blamed the vaccines for the increase in liver disease. But actual research demonstrated it was the lack of natural immunity caused by the lockdowns causing the problem. Remember this when antivaxxers claim other health problems are caused by the Covid vaccines. Actual research will most likely eventually demonstrate there is another cause entirely.

      That said, another destructive aspect of the lockdowns is the dramatic drop in the academic levels of our children:

 

      Student test scores saw precipitous declines in math and reading over the past two years, according to new data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly known as the nation’s report card.

      The 2022 scores, which measure student proficiency in reading and math, are the first edition of the nation’s report to be released since COVID-19 pandemic policies forced schools nationwide to close their doors, in some cases up to a full year.

      The biggest score declines were in math, which the National Center for Education Statistics said in a press release was the biggest decline ever recorded. For fourth graders, math scores declined by 5 points to 236 from their 2019 number of 241, while eighth grade scores plummeted 8 points from 282 to 274.

      In reading, both fourth and eighth graders saw 3-point declines from 2019. Fourth grade scores fell from 220 to 217 and eighth grade scores from 263 to 260 (Washington Examiner. Nation’s report card).

 

      “These numbers prove that American parents’ concerns about their children’s education during the pandemic weren’t speculative – but in fact, perfectly valid,” said Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, a grassroots organization dedicated to shining a light on what kids are being taught in schools. “American students were the subject of a years-long social experiment that will impact our country’s economy for decades to come.”

      Neily said it is time to hold the “education bureaucrats, activists, and public health officials who mocked, shamed, and derided families accountable for their decisions.” …

      While every region of the country saw test scores slip and every state saw declines in at least one subject, Democrat-led areas experienced some of the worst scores (Newsmax. Who’s).

 

      This learning loss could have lifelong economic consequences for those students so affected:

 

      Learning loss could shave $70,000 off the lifetime earnings of children who were in school during the pandemic, according to a new study by a Stanford economist.

      The sobering forecast is based on an analysis of the sharp declines in the scores of eighth-graders on national math tests taken between 2019 and 2022.

      If the learning losses aren’t recovered, K-12 students on average will grow into less educated, lower-skilled and less productive adults and will earn 5.6% less over the course of their lives than students educated just before the pandemic, said Eric A. Hanushek, a Stanford University economist who specializes in education. He said the losses could total $28 trillion over the rest of this century (Fox Business. Pandemic).

 

      There was even an effect on the brains of adolescents and their mental health overall:

 

      According to the director of Stanford Neurodevelopment, children suffered during lockdowns in a way that researchers are not completely sure is temporary.  “Adolescents assessed after the pandemic shutdowns” were shown to have “more severe internalizing mental health problems,” as well as “more advanced brain age” says Professor Ian Gotlib.

      The “brain age” of pandemic-era children is comparable to the same accelerated changes that happen to the minds of children who experience elevated levels of stress or chronic adversity. Typically, this happens to children who suffer from “violence, neglect, family dysfunction, or a combination of multiple factors” (Blaze. Lockdowns).

 

      According to the new data, in 2021, more than a third (37%) of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year. The new analyses also describe some of the severe challenges youth encountered during the pandemic.

 

         More than half (55%) reported they experienced emotional abuse by a parent or other adult in the home, including swearing at, insulting, or putting down the student.

         11% experienced physical abuse by a parent or other adult in the home, including hitting, beating, kicking, or physically hurting the student.

         More than a quarter (29%) reported a parent or other adult in their home lost a job (CDC. New CDC data).

 

Church Closures

 

      Probably the worst of all of the  lockdowns was the closure of churches. The left has been trying to secularize America for decades, and this was their big chance to break Americans of the habit of attending church. And it worked. Even now, with the lockdowns ended, church attendance has not returned to pre-pandemic levels, and churches are closing across the country.

      That cultural change will have long-term consequences that we are already seeing. Rising crimes rates, with the worst being random acts of violence. Respect for human life, property, and authority is at an all time low. Next to the home, it is at church that Americans traditionally learned morals and values.

      But now, with the breakdown of the traditional American family and the rapid drop in church attendance, that rise in the lack of respect will continue unabated. See my article Churches are Essential for more in this regard.

 

Conclusion

 

      There is now a push for “Covid amnesty.” The idea being, let’s just forgive and forget all of the steps taken during the pandemic, as everyone was just trying as best as they could in the light of limited information about Covid. Of course, those pushing that idea are those who pushed illogical and unscientific ideas like lockdowns.

      I for one was hoping those responsible, namely Democratic leaders, would be “punished” by a red wave at the ballot box in the 2022 elections. But sadly, that did not happen. Incredibly, even Gretchen Whitmer, the Democrat governor of Michigan, who had the most oppressive lockdown policies imaginable, won reelection.

 

This multi-part article is continued at
Update on Covid Deaths: Part Six (NFL Deaths and Scare, Death of Elvis’ Daughter)

  

References:

      See Update on Covid Deaths (Refuting Covid Lies by the Right and Fearmongering by the Left): References.

Update on Covid Deaths: Part Five (Medically Useless and Destructive Lockdowns). Copyright 2023 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).

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    The public hearings in the summer and fall of 2022 about the tragic events of January 6, 2021 (J6) were the prosecution presenting its case against Donald J. Trump, with the American public as the jury. But he was not afforded a defense. This book provides that defense. Do not miss how dangerous this precedent was. What if this were you? How would you like it if primetime hearings were held prosecuting you, aired on all major networks, but without you ever being able to present a defense on such a grand scale? But this book presents the other side, so the reader can make an informed decision about J6 and Trump’s role in it.

The above article was posted on this website January 13, 2023.
It was updated January 21, 2023.

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