A groundbreaking report by Johns Hopkins University researchers has concluded that lockdowns did little to nothing when it came to reducing COVID-19 mortality rates, and instead had devastating effects on the social and economic fabric of our society. 

The study, titled A Literature Review and Meta-analysis of the Effects of Lockdowns on COVID-19 Mortality reviewed 18,590 research reports to arrive at its conclusions.

Lockdowns were defined as “at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention” including limiting internal movement, school and business closures, bans on international travel and more. 

“Overall, we conclude that lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic, at least not during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote researchers. 

“In Edmonton, Canada, isolation and quarantine were instituted; public meetings were banned; schools, churches, colleges, theaters, and other public gathering places were closed; and business hours were restricted without obvious impact on the epidemic.” 

 After reporting that lockdowns had little to no effect on mortality rates, the study went on to recognize the “devastating effects” the measures did have on society, including rates of domestic violence, schooling and civil rights.

“The use of lockdowns is a unique feature of the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote researchers. “Lockdowns have not been used to such a large extent during any of the pandemics of the past century. However, lockdowns during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic have had devastating effects.” 

“They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy. These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best. Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.”

To this day, there remain many advocates of lockdowns in Canada, including the Ontario Science Table, who successfully advocated for the province to shut down again during the latest wave of COVID-19. 

The Johns Hopkins study confirms what many experts whom public health officials once discredited have been saying all along – lockdowns don’t work. One Ontario doctor was even suspended from practicing medicine for criticizing lockdowns. 

Public support for lockdowns and other COVID-19 measures has dwindled in recent weeks with as many as 54% of Canadians thinking that restrictions should end according to an Angus Reid Institute.

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