Lockdowns are Now a Proven Failure As Their Collateral Damage Rises Inexorably


Eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown (“restriction”, “pause”), let’s pull back and examine some critical items.

Never has a broad scale economic and social lockdown been implemented to slow or stop the spread of a disease. But this became the path that leaders chose to take in the spring as the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Now, for many states, “fifteen days to flatten the curve” has morphed into an eight month involuntary experiment of the effectiveness of a lockdown to combat a contagious disease; eight months of harsh economic measures, social distancing orders, regular goalpost shifting, constant haranguing by our elected leaders that we are not taking the disease seriously – and no end in sight.

And it HASN’T WORKED. Coronavirus, which is highly contagious but with a very high survival rate, continues to spread and spike. Lockdowns have not worked to slow the spread any place other than an isolated island in the pacific.

Lockdowns do not work even to reduce COVID deaths, per a study, released late last week.

Stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate.

As we see by the current spike, lockdowns have not “put a lid” on the disease, as we have been promised for eight months – if we would just behave! – that they would do. What lockdowns have done, very effectively, is decimate: lives (literally; suicides, overdoses), livelihoods, mental health, businesses, people’s access to healthcare (health insurance). Here’s a list, by no means exhaustive, of the negative consequences of the lockdown:

~ As of October, the best estimate for deaths in the United States caused by the lockdown stood at approximately 80,000 to 100,000. This will almost certainly rise as data collection accelerates.

~ There has been a horrifying impact of the lockdown on congregate care residents. (What has been going on in Rhode Island’s congregate care facilities?)

~ This report outlines the impact of the lockdown on mental health, healthcare, unemployment, education and crime.

Now, this brings us to another disturbing aspect of lockdowns: our elected leaders have perpetuated them with studied disregard for these “unintended” consequences, effectively dismissed via hollow platitudes like, “I know it’s hard”.

What our leaders do say, time and again, emphatically, is that it is our fault that the lockdown and social distancing have not worked because we, the people, have not done it good enough.

This accusation not only blames the victims but is false and it is important to debunk it. I have never seen or could have even dreamed of a level of compliance as we have seen with masks and other executive orders.  Everyone, but everyone, is very aware of COVID-19. Ninety nine point nine percent of people are taking COVID-19 very seriously.  And because our elected leaders have hyper focused on only certain aspects of the disease (the death rate and the case count) while carefully omitting information about the most important aspect of it (the very high survival rate), many, many people are very scared of COVID-19.

If your solution is not working with this incredible level of compliance and fear, IT WAS NEVER A VIABLE SOLUTION.

Governor Raimondo, with the hearty consent by silence of Speaker Mattiello, the presumed next speaker, Joe Shekarchi, and Senate President Ruggerio, has announced a two week “pause”, i.e., a ratcheting up of the lockdown, starting November 30, though with the warning that it may be extended if we don’t (say it with me) “follow the rules”.

As the death and destruction from a now clearly failed public health policy inexorably mounts, a two week heightening of that policy goes in exactly the wrong direction – particularly in light of the absence of science correctly noted by Justin.

Governor Raimondo says “COVID fatigue” is real. If, by fatigue, you mean extreme anxiety, disgust, anger and frustration to watch our state leaders continue to pursue a public policy that is clearly not working but instead, is needlessly, systematically destroying the system by which we and our neighbors sustain and improve our lives and – insiders and special interests, take notice – which funds the state and local tax base — yeah, we’re fatigued.

COVID-19 lockdowns (“restrictions”, “pauses”) were a first ever, real life experiment to slow or stop a contagious disease.  Eight months in, with cases spiking, not slowing, lockdowns are a complete failure BY THE STANDARD THAT LOCKDOWN LEADERS THEMSELVES SET.  We need to end the experiment now and do what we’ve known almost from the beginning: protect vulnerable populations; open up fully, including all schools; wear masks, wash our hands and go about our lives and our business.

  • Lou

    Welcome back to reality, Monique. For months you have been promoting the phoney narrative that “sole goal of the lockdown” was to preserve hospital capacity. I see you have moved on to acknowledging goals also include “to slow or stop the spread of a disease” and “to combat a contagious disease”.

    I love the far-right’s newfound concerns for public health. I just ask where it has been over the last four years “(literally; suicides, overdoses), livelihoods, mental health, businesses, people’s access to healthcare (health insurance)” , are all valid and important questions. The only answers from the far-right have been endless failed attempts to repeal Obamacare and replace it with make-believe plans.

    I think we can all agree that the President’s response to the pandemic has been a colossal failure and that COVID-19 doesn’t recognize state borders. My question to you is, why do you think “fully” opening up Rhode Island would be an effective response to a worldwide pandemic?

    You also have never answered the question of how many deaths would be required before YOU closed the state down?

    • ShannonEntropy

      I would be in favor of lockdowns if they worked. But there is overwhelming evidence that they do NOT work; and in fact may actually make things worse



      The idea of shutting down the entire economy so mostly nursing home patients can live a few more weeks is so obviously ridiculous that only a leftist like you could fall for it…. ACAB [ All Commies Are Brain-dead ]

    • Rhett Hardwick

      “I think we can all agree that the President’s response to the pandemic has been a colossal failure”
      Lou, sometimes I have to wonder if you think things through. What are the standards to be met? At what point is a “failure” determined, much less a “colossal failure”. What Successes are comparing the current effort to?

      • Pjgj28a

        Correct-a colossal failure compared to what? I’ve yet to hear or read a progressive or democratic plan to end the pandemic other than criticize Trump for colossal failures. Lou exactly what you would have done differently?

        And Lou, you might want to think about the difference between personal responsibility and state coercion.

        And lastly Lou, what number of deaths and destruction are you prepared to accept caused by lockdowns? The science and data are starting to show that lockdowns cause more death, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, spousal abuse, missed opportunities to seek life saving medical care and on and on than COVID related deaths. And I have yet to see data on the number of deaths caused exclusively by COVID. Appreciate it if you could point that out for me.

        • Rhett Hardwick

          Correct, most deaths are “covid related”, meaning there were other co-morbidities. We have all heard the stories of motorcycle accident deaths being “covid related”.

  • ShannonEntropy

    This just in: John Hopkins study admits that Covid isn’t really killing
    anyone and the overall death rate hasn’t changed one iota. Then they
    “mysteriously” retracted the article:

    Surprisingly, the deaths of older people stayed the same before and after COVID-19. Since COVID-19 mainly affects the elderly, experts expected an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups. However, this increase is not seen from the CDC data. In fact, the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same… the total decrease in
    deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by
    COVID-19. This suggests, according to Briand, that the COVID-19 death
    toll is misleading. Briand believes that deaths due to heart diseases,
    respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia may instead be
    recategorized as being due to COVID-19.


    Luckily for us the article wasn’t completely deleted a la Soviet-style removing people from official photographs, but that’s only cuz such a deletion is academic misconduct on par with totally fabricating data

  • Lou

    Since most of you are asking the same question (except of course Shannon, who is incapable of formulating questions not fed to him by alt-right fringe sites) regarding what could have been done better in regard to the US pandemic response, I ask YOU what could have been done worse? Every other region on earth has done a better than the US response.