Since early in the coronavirus pandemic, critics of unprecedented lockdown measures seen worldwide have argued that these interventions cause more harm than the disease itself. But an analysis of global health data suggests there is little evidence to support the idea that the cure is worse than the disease.
The analysis, published in the journal BMJ Global Health, considered claims that lockdowns cause more health harms than Covid-19 by examining their impacts on measures including death rates, routine health services and mental health.
Using an international dataset of all-cause mortality from 94 countries, the researchers found that countries such as New Zealand and Australia experienced no excess mortality last year. In contrast, places with few Covid restrictions such as Brazil, Sweden, Russia and at times parts of the US had large numbers of excess deaths over the course of the pandemic.
“It is … one of the most compelling pieces of evidence to support the notion that the cure was not worse than the disease,” said author Prof Gavin Yamey, from the Duke…