Is the cure really worse than the disease? The health impacts of #lockdowns during #COVID-19

Summary box
Restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19 (known as ‘lockdowns’) are associated with health harms

However, it is challenging to determine whether lockdowns have caused the harms or whether these harms are a direct consequence of the underlying health disaster of the pandemic

Careful analysis of excess mortality suggests that lockdowns are not associated with large numbers of deaths in places that avoided large COVID-19 epidemics (eg, Australia, New Zealand)

This evidence must be weighed against the very severe harms caused by COVID-19 itself, as seen for example in Brazil and India

It is unlikely that government interventions have been worse than the pandemic itself in most situations using data collected to date