Covid-19 lockdowns had little effect on death rates, study finds (includes video story)

A Johns Hopkins University study looked at how different closures during the lockdown reduced Covid deaths. 

The study found that overall, the lockdowns defined as “any government mandate that directly restricts peoples’ possibilities” reduced Covid deaths by .2%. The greatest impact due to closures was business closures which reduced Covid deaths by 10.6%. 

The study concluded that the lockdowns were “ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument” because they had “little to no public health effects” and “imposed enormous economic and social costs.”

But infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty says the shutdown was less about lowering death rates and more about giving the healthcare system time to create a plan of action. 

“We needed time,” said Dr. Marty. “The lockdown decreased transmission enough so that we started to figure out what we had to do when patients had this problem.”

COVID-19 has caused nearly 920,000 deaths in the United States, making it the nation with the most virus-induced fatalities in the world. 

Sophia Lama is a senior at Florida International University majoring in broadcast journalism. She was ABC 7 Chicago’s first-ever race and culture reporting intern. Currently, Sophia is a part of the NBCU Diversity, Equity & Inclusion fellowship in Washington, DC and is interning for ESPN.