Around the world, an accounting is finally under way for the disastrous shutdown policies that were followed by many governments. The Telegraph headlines: “Lockdown effects feared to be killing more people than Covid.”
The effects of lockdown may now be killing more people than are dying of Covid, official statistics suggest.
Figures for excess deaths from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that around 1,000 more people than usual are currently dying each week from conditions other than the virus.
The Telegraph understands that the Department of Health has ordered an investigation into the figures amid concern that the deaths are linked to delays to and deferment of treatment for conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Deferral of “elective” or “nonessential” health care for up to two years foreseeably created untold numbers of health problems, as did other consequences of the lockdowns.
Over the past two months, the number of excess deaths not from Covid dwarfs the number linked to the virus. It comes amid renewed calls for Covid measures such as compulsory face masks in the winter.
But the figures suggest the country is facing a new silent health crisis linked to the pandemic response rather than to the virus itself.
The British Heart Foundation said it was “deeply concerned” by the findings, while the Stroke Association said it had been anticipating a rise in deaths for a while.
Since the beginning of June, the ONS has recorded nearly 10,000 more deaths than the five-year average – around 1,089 a week – none of which is linked to Covid. The figure is more than three times the number of people who died because of the virus over the same period, which stood at 2,811.
Of course, the question is not whether the shutdowns did more harm than the covid virus. The question is whether covid + shutdowns was better or worse than covid alone. I personally have no doubt that the shutdowns did more harm than good, so that covid + shutdowns was worse than covid alone would have been. That realization is, I think, dawning in many countries around the world. Let’s hope the lesson can be learned in time for the next epidemic.