News Story

Lockdown Costs Include Suicidal Thoughts Up, Kids’ Life Expectancy Down

Locked-out children also losing years of life expectancy

The personal, social and economic costs of COVID-19 lockdowns have been largely ignored by advocates of the restrictions, according to the nonprofit think tank that helped create the Great Barrington Declaration.

The American Institute for Economic Research released a report that summarized research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations documenting the negative effects of lockdowns.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Department of Health and Human Service issued a lockdown order Nov. 15. It will be in place for three weeks and imposes greater restrictions on businesses and tightened restrictions on public and private gatherings.

“In the debate over coronavirus policy, there has been far too little focus on the costs of lockdowns. It’s very common for the proponents of these interventions to write articles and large studies without even mentioning the downside,” the institute stated.

The report report from the economic research organization noted the following:

  • A June CDC report that 40% of U.S. adults were struggling with mental health and substance abuse.

  • An August CDC finding that the number of adults who had thoughts of suicide increased from 4.3% in 2018 to 10.7%.

  • An August CDC report that 25.5% of people aged 18-24 had considered suicide.

  • A November CDC report that the share of emergency room visits related to the mental health of children aged 5 to 11 had increased by 24%, and was up 31% among 12-to-17 year-olds.

  • The Journal of the American Medical Association reported just this month that a total of 24.2 million children ages 5-11 were enrolled in public schools that were closed during the pandemic. The JAMA article offered estimates of the reduced life expectancy that could be expected for the young people affected.

  • An August JAMA research letter found that breast cancer diagnoses in 2020 had fallen 51.8% compared to 2018.

The Great Barrington Declaration states that “current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”

It has been signed by thousands of experts in the medical profession.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.