The lockdowns that have “destroyed millions of livelihoods” worldwide have had no impact on the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a study by JPMorgan Chase.
The report cited falling infection rates in places where the lockdown has lifted, concluding the virus “likely has its own dynamics,” which are “unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures.”
The report noted the “R” rate — the number of people that a single infected person will go on to infect — has continued to fall in countries such as Denmark since the reopening of schools and shopping malls.
In the U.S., states such as Colorado, Iowa, Alabama, Wyoming, Wisconsin and Mississippi have had lower “R” rates since lifting lockdowns.
Study author Marko Kolanovic, a JPMorgan quantitative strategist, said governments were scared into imposing the lockdowns by “flawed scientific papers.”
“Unlike rigorous testing of new drugs, lockdowns were administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than Covid-19 itself,” he said.
After extensive analysis of data, which is featured in the report in graphs, Kolanovic concluded that after the lockdowns were lifted, “the vast majority of countries had decreased infection rates.”
Even after factoring in lag time for new infections to appear, the rates of infection have continued to decline, he said.
“While we often hear that lockdowns are driven by scientific models, and that there is an exact relationship between the level of economic activity and the spread of [the] virus — this is not supported by the data,” the report states.
The study concludes the pandemic likely has its “own dynamics unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures that were being implemented.”
The report says increased hand-washing and weather patterns may affect the spread of the virus but not lockdowns.
“The fact that re-opening did not change the course of the pandemic is consistent with studies showing that initiation of full lockdowns did not alter the course of the pandemic either,” the report says.
Impact of isolation
Meanwhile, a German study presented Friday at the European Academy of Neurology Virtual Congress found socially isolated people are more than 40% more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or other major cardiovascular event.
Further, the socially isolated are nearly 50% more likely to die from any cause, according to researchers at University Hospital in Essen, Germany.
All of the participants in the study initially had no known cardiovascular problems and were tracked for an average of 13 years.
“We have known for some time that feeling lonely or lacking contact with close friends and family can have an impact on your physical health, researcher Dr. Janine Gronewold said in a release. “What this study tells us is that having strong social relationships is of high importance for your heart health and similar to the role of classical protective factors such as having a healthy blood pressure, acceptable cholesterol levels, and a normal weight.”
In the United States, doctors at a San Francisco Bay Area hospital report they have seen more deaths by suicide during the quarantine period than from COVID-19.
Local KGO-TV reported Thursday the head of the trauma department at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, believes it is time to end Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s shelter-in-place order.
“Personally I think it’s time,” said Dr. Mike deBoisblanc. “I think, originally, [the order] was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that and our other community health is suffering.”
He told KGO the numbers are unprecedented.
“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” he said. “I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”
The Blaze noted a study by the public health group Well Being Trust warned that as many as 75,000 Americans could die because of “deaths of despair” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That would include suicide and deaths brought on by drug or alcohol abuse.
Ten people committed suicide during a six-day period in laste March in Knox County, Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network. The organization recorded a 62% increase in conversations through its crisis text line in March compared to the previous year.