The academic paper outlining the failure of the pandemic blockade policy, published in the spring, has been largely ignored by the media, the authors say.
After posting in April, Douglas Allen, a professor of economics at Simon Fraser University, made his work viral, receiving positive feedback and leading to podcast interviews in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. It says that it was. Even a few politicians have reached out, he says.
But as far as the media is concerned, his work has received little attention. With the exception of The Epoch Times, “the major media did not contact me,” Allen says.
NS Toronto Sun published In a column based on Allen’s findings in April, former independent politician Derek Sloan Research on Kingston Wig Standard After he was arrested for ignoring the blockade for attending a church in Aylmer, Ontario in April.
Allen also Financial Post column In June I gave an overview of his findings. But that is essentially the scope of Canadian coverage.
title”Covid-19 Lockdown Cost / Benefits: The study “Critical Evaluation of Literature” was officially published in the International Journal of the Economics of Business on September 29th.
The lack of coverage was probably what Allen predicted, As he wrote in his research Despite the “overwhelming” amount of research papers on COVID-19 (40,000 per year), “Ubiquitous media, public health, and political responses to pandemics have been unilateral and incomplete over the past year. It hasn’t changed much. “
“In addition, when research results that were contrary to the official government response were shared on social media, they were often drawn from social media platforms. As a result, for the average Canadian, public media and official The public health press conference was the only source of Covid-19 information, “he wrote.
Based on a survey of more than 100 COVID-19 studies, Allen evaluated that “the blockage could be lowered as one of the biggest failure of peacetime policy in modern history.”
“In the process of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was no official evidence that governments around the world considered both the benefits and costs of policy making,” he wrote.
Allen emphasized that most of the early studies on blockades only looked at the benefits without looking at the costs, and many used the wrong model and made assumptions that turned out to be wrong. I am.
“In the early days of the pandemic, Neil Ferguson et al. The model seemed to drive many blockade decisions and was widely reported in the media,” he wrote.Impact of non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) To reduce COVID-19 mortality and medical demand. “
Ferguson predicted widespread death if no blockade was imposed.
“Ferguson et al. The model was brilliantly wrong. It turns off with a factor of 5.88 to 14.71.” Allen I have written Regarding Ferguson’s prediction of deaths by COVID.
“ICL model problems were quickly pointed out,” he wrote, for example, overly high infection rates, overly high, age-independent case fatality rates, hospital capacity fixed and immutable. Assumed, and do not change their behavior in the face of new viruses.
There is no benefit from the blockade
Before addressing the cost of the blockade, Allen emphasizes a number of studies documenting the apparent lack of benefit.
Citing a study by Christian Bjornskoff, a professor of economics at Aarhus University in Denmark, he states: In other words, the blockade is not working as intended. “
It also cites the work of John Gibson, a professor of economics at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. “The blockade has no effect on reducing Covid-19 mortality. Variability between US counties, where more than one-fifth was unblocked, does not indicate the effect of the blockade. Specifically, We cannot deny the hypothesis that there is no difference in deaths between blocked and unblocked counties. “
Regarding the cost of the blockade, Allen explained that the study is “still incomplete and even fragmented, as it lags behind that of profits and has some serious problems that take time to resolve.” I am.
Some studies have focused on the loss of gross domestic product (GDP) caused by the blockade. NS paper Announced by the Cambridge University Press in July 2020, Allen said he underestimated the cost of the blockade and overestimated the profits, but “the cost of the three-month blockade in the UK is profitable. It is unlikely that the continuation of strict restrictions will be justified, as it is likely to be higher. “
There are also widespread human costs, including loss of education, low-income families suffering more than others, and increased risk of children’s mental health. Other costs include increased deaths from unemployment, increased deaths from overdose, other deaths from despair, increased domestic violence, loss of non-COVID-19 medical services, and loss of civil liberties.
These effects cannot be measured in the same way as COVID-19 cases and deaths, Allen said.
“”In the light of nature Also, measurement issues related to blockade costs have not been subjected to a true standard cost-benefit analysis as of July 2021, “he wrote.
To reach some conclusions about the overall cost, Allen introduced an alternative cost-benefit methodology using the years lost due to the blockade proposed by Bryan Caplan, a professor of economics at George Mason University. I presented it. According to Allen’s calculations, the “reasonable conservative case” is that Canada has a cost-benefit ratio of about 141. In other words, the cost of the blockade is 141 times the profit.
The Epoch Times contacted the State Health Departments of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia for comment on the blockade policy and whether to impose a blockage in the light of Allen’s investigation. No state responded at press time.
Allen does not expect his research to influence policy.
“I don’t think my report will be important,” he told The Epoch Times. “I think we are in a bad political equilibrium that politicians cannot admit that they have made mistakes. Therefore, they can finally declare victory and save our lives. Until then, we must continue to double and insist on restrictions. “