The cost of blocking COVID-19 in Australia has repeatedly outstripped profits: Experts


After weighing the various costs and benefits of the blockade imposed on Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic, two Australian researchers found that the financial and human costs incurred by the blockade benefited from 30 to 35. I found that it exceeded twice.

Professor Gigi Foster of the Faculty of Economics at the University of New South Wales has not yet acknowledged that even island nations like Australia have huge human costs for lockdown compared to the potential benefits they can bring. .. Australia.

Prior to 2020, blocking a healthy population was considered too expensive and was not part of Australia’s pandemic management program, Foster told Epoch TV’s American Thought Leaders program in an interview on June 9. rice field.

The standard approach to implementing public policy is to perform a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate each policy, Foster said. She added that this was not done due to the blockade in either Australia or the United States.

In August 2020, then-economists of the Victoria State Government of Australia, Foster and Sanjev Sabrock, conducted a cost-benefit analysis of lockdown policies (“pdf ) For consideration by the Victorian Parliament.

“After summarizing the calculations in a table, if we try to quantify all the different aspects of the cost that the blockade policy actually pays people, the blockade is about 30 or 35 times more than what the profits could bring. I calculated that it would be expensive, “Foster insisted.

Foster said it is often argued that the blockade will save the population until the vaccine is developed, and that when people get the vaccine, theoretically fewer of them will die.But in Australia Quite a lot of people She said she is currently dying from COVID-19.

Indeed, during the blockade and border closure in Australia, COVID-19 deaths and even infections were significantly lower than in other parts of the world, and economic performance was significantly better for several years, Foster said. I am saying. ..

As an island nation, Australia has the ability to close its borders and significantly reduce the amount of virus it invades, the professor said. But this essentially begins with the cost of moving away from the rest of the world, developing herd immunity in other parts of the world, and innovating to fight the virus. She explained.

“What we basically did was delay and overcome the possible death wave we had in 2020,” Foster said. “And now we will soon return to the same kind of financial suffering that other parts of the world are currently experiencing.”

“If you look now [COVID-19] Infectious diseases and deaths in Australia, And even economic indicators like inflation don’t look good at all. “

The number of cases of the new CCP (Chinese Community Party) virus (commonly known as the new coronavirus) and the number of COVID-19 deaths in Australia are relative to the beginning of 2022 compared to the last two years. Shows an increase. According to the World Meter, they continue to stay relatively high.

According to the report, more than 95% of Australia’s population over the age of 16 is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Australian Government..

Blockage costs

Epoch Times Photo
This file image has a sign that says “Go Straight Home and Isolate” in Australia. (Asankara Tonayake / Getty Images)

The financial costs of helping those who lost their jobs due to the blockade were not taken into account in Australia’s COVID-19 policy decision, Foster said.

The driving force behind imposing the blockade was how many people were saved from COVID-19 deaths, but the number of people who died due to the avoided COVID-19 deaths and pandemic response policies. Trade-offs with and should also be considered. The professor pointed out. Examples of deaths from these “strict” policies are “people who should have gone to the hospital to get treatment for a stroke or heart attack, or people who missed a cancer screening,” she added.

“Public health must be about all aspects of health and all public health.”

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the outbreak of the CCP virus.

Some may argue that the blockade “delayed the onset of COVID, thereby allowing the Australian population to be exposed only to predominantly mild variants.” [people] It is more vaccinated, “Foster said.

“But if we take the best policy response to protect people who are actually vulnerable to this virus, they are very vulnerable. [such as] The death toll was much lower than it is now, as it was clearly correct for the elderly, those with comorbidities, that is, March 2020. “

According to Foster, the blockade policy has affected more seriously poor families whose children are out of school, do not have computers for distance learning. Families who were already struggling in early 2020, children who didn’t have enough space to study at home, with difficult relationships, substance abuse, unskilledness, and difficulty finding a job. Foster, the one who felt the most impact of the blockade, explained.

“this is No However the short semester cost, Which that is Huge, However this is Also-you make worse the existing inequality of a Society, “she said.

According to Foster, wearing a mask every day also costs money to wear a mask, such as a “huge pile of environmental waste,” and labor costs. She explained that masks prevent hearing-impaired and hearing-impaired people from seeing their lips and recognizing what others are saying, hindering young children’s language acquisition.

“There is this extraordinary amount we have imposed on a population that has not really been considered yet.”

Pandemic simulation model

Epoch Times Photo
ACT NSW border sign displaying blockage information in Canberra, Australia, August 20, 2021. (RohanThomson / Getty Images)

Pandemic-ready policies are often communicated by simulation models, but models have limitations, Foster said.

Foster believes that the main fallacy of these models is to focus solely on viral infections, ignoring the costs of blockades and mitigating spreads.

“It’s an uneconomical movement in nature,” she said.

Foster explained that the model was also based on many assumptions that were “just a call for judgment” and was wrong in the past. “The previous epidemiological simulations were significantly turned off, but this time, of course, they are turned off again.”

In the first few months of the pandemic, it may be permissible to build a response policy based on a simulated model, but the policy will be updated after data on virus spread and death begins to come in. It should have been, Forest said.

She mentioned the spread of the virus on Diamond Princess and Ruby Princess cruise ships and said she provided a way to observe how many people would die from the virus in a closed environment.

“we can Have Have learned So many from Them If we right However look and the Data, “she said. “”However there was No Any I am updating. “

“Science is about constantly updating,” says Foster. She said the theory should always be evaluated against new data, and if the data does not fit the theory or predictions, the theory needs to be modified.

Foster used only information from the real world to come up with the counterfacts and all estimates of the cost-benefit analysis of the blockade, she said. “I didn’t rely on the simulated model. I relied on what happened in different parts of the world with this virus.”

“Model temptation, which is part of the model’s appeal, seems to be a way to simplify incredibly complex realities, especially through constant attacks on information via the Internet, social media, and everything else. Especially if you do. “

Foster also warned people to live in a fantasy world where everything returns to normal when the economy is unpaused with the push of a pause button. “It doesn’t match the way the economic system actually works.”

After the economy paused, people had to make the choice as “they have to compensate for what was done to them,” Foster said. They may change the way they allocate their resources and the way they interact in the market. She explained that they might change jobs.

When the economy resumes, it’s not the same place as before. Foster added that there was a broken link that changed people and their lives.

Ella Kietrinska

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Ella Kietlinska is a reporter for The Epoch Times, focusing on US and world politics.

Jean Jeki Elek

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Jan Jekielek is the chief editor of The Epoch Times and the host of the show “American Thought Leaders”. Jan’s career spans academia, the media, and international human rights activities. In 2009 he participated in The Epoch Times full-time and has played various roles, including the editor-in-chief of the website. He is the producer of the award-winning Holocaust documentary film “Finding Manny.”

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