Covid Lockdown Cost/Benefits: A Critical Assessment of the Literature

Douglas Allen: In my forty years as an academic, I've never seen anything like the response and reaction to Covid-19. The research response has been immense, with estimates of over 40,000 papers related to the topic produced in one year. This research covers every imaginable aspect of Covid-19, and over the course of the past year knowledge about the virus, the human reactions to it, and the consequences of these reactions has exploded. In one word, the Covid-19 information cascade has been overwhelming. In contrast, the ubiquitous media, public health, and political response to the pandemic has been one-sided, incomplete, and almost unchanging over the past year. With respect to lockdown policies, many political jurisdictions have repeated the same spring 2020 programs in 2021, ignoring what has been learned in the meantime. Often public announcements were made that were inconsistent with basic Covid-19 facts that were easy to look up if you know where to look. Furthermore, when research results contrary to the official government response were shared on social media, they were often pulled from social media platforms. As a result, for average Canadians the public media and official public health news conferences have been the only source of Covid-19 information. This review of a small segment of the literature is intended to give some guidance for those who would otherwise not have access to academic research. The focus is to only critically assess the cost/benefit studies that have been written over the past year on lockdown policies related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Report is available for download at:

https://wisdomquest.com/lockdownreport.pdf

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Covid Lockdown Cost/Benefits: A Critical Assessment of the Literature

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Douglas Allen: In my forty years as an academic, I've never seen anything like the response and reaction to Covid-19. The research response has been immense, with estimates of over 40,000 papers related to the topic produced in one year. This research covers every imaginable aspect of Covid-19, and over the course of the past year knowledge about the virus, the human reactions to it, and the consequences of these reactions has exploded. In one word, the Covid-19 information cascade has been overwhelming. In contrast, the ubiquitous media, public health, and political response to the pandemic has been one-sided, incomplete, and almost unchanging over the past year. With respect to lockdown policies, many political jurisdictions have repeated the same spring 2020 programs in 2021, ignoring what has been learned in the meantime. Often public announcements were made that were inconsistent with basic Covid-19 facts that were easy to look up if you know where to look. Furthermore, when research results contrary to the official government response were shared on social media, they were often pulled from social media platforms. As a result, for average Canadians the public media and official public health news conferences have been the only source of Covid-19 information. This review of a small segment of the literature is intended to give some guidance for those who would otherwise not have access to academic research. The focus is to only critically assess the cost/benefit studies that have been written over the past year on lockdown policies related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Report is available for download at:

https://wisdomquest.com/lockdownreport.pdf

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