Many are sharing an article claiming that US "lockdowns" cause 10x more deaths than the coronavirus due to deaths of despair, etc. Definitions are key & the estimate is likely incorrect. First, comorbid deaths reported so far (dementia, etc.) do not seem despair related #COVID19.
One could argue a brief period of excess heart attack deaths or ongoing hypertensive deaths are despair related, but these are multifactorial. The bigger problem with the claim is the poor counterfactual thinking attributing "despair" to a "lockdown" rather than the virus.
For instance, there were more suicides during the 1918 flu pandemic & the 2003 SARS outbreak in Hong Kong
/This doesn't mean the suicides were from the local response rather than instability from the virus itself that would have been worse without response
The same is true for other psychosocial consequences of the virus. That said, more research is clearly needed, which was another problem with the article claiming the 10x theory as it was critical of advice from "scientists." Scientists can work to parse and bound these nuances
In future analyses of excess deaths, the CDC indicated it would report "suicide, drug overdose, heart disease" even if not noted as a comorbid COVID-19 death. Additionally, more work is needed to see how to encourage good psycho-social hygiene. Are church closures a risk factor?
These are complicated analyses, but critically important to help get the right countermeasures in place. If someone claims the "cure is worse than the disease" they likely do not realize how bad the social & health consequences of the "disease" could become.
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