How lockdowns are likely to kill millions

As lockdowns spread worldwide the potential damage is also increasing. According to the ILO, 1.6 billion workers are at risk of losing their jobs as a result of lockdowns:

Many of these people are day laborers and already live in extreme poverty. An interruption in employment is not just an inconvenience but a matter of life and death.

India recently went through a lockdown of several weeks. The unemployment rate has jumped to 27%. Millions could die from starvation, malnutrition, suicide, exhaustion, and drug overdose that are a direct or indirect result of the lockdown. Here is one description:

. . .farmers are taking their own lives because they can’t get laborers to harvest their crops. Police are accused of beating lockdown violators to death. Migrant workers are dropping dead after being forced to walk hundreds of miles home. Alcoholics are dying from drinking methanol because all alcohol sales have been banned. Children are dying of starvation.

At the same time, the WHO has praised India’s lockdown:

WHO Representative to India Henk Bekedam praised the country’s response to the pandemic, describing it as “comprehensive and robust . . . It is vital that we come together in solidarity and help in breaking the chain of transmission and flattening the curve,” he said.

How many people have already died of starvation as a result of India’s lockdown? We may never know since the government does not track starvation deaths.

My opinion is that the damage from lockdowns in the developing world far outweigh the potential benefits. Most of these countries have young populations and the risk from the disease is small to begin with. The risks associated with malnutrition, suicide, exhaustion are much greater than the possible benefits. In addition, large numbers of desperate people create an ideal climate for civil unrest and violence, which could kill many times more.

Are lockdowns really about protecting the elites who can afford to shelter at home?

Are the poorest people bearing the cost of lockdowns for the richest?

Why is the WHO praising lockdowns while another UN agency is warning about the dangers?


Isn’t the bigger problem that there are millions of people living on $1.90 a day?

And that maybe instead of rushing back to normal we tackle that problem along the way?


Lockdowns mean income goes to zero. People who were already dirt poor are pushed into a life-or-death struggle.

India has not had a famine in several decades because of growing economy. That may change if the economy collapses with massive unemployment.

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When you guys are acting all concerned about the poor, I am immediately suspicious.


Back in the 1970s, liberal analysts said massive famines would kill hundreds of millions in places like India:

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

Instead, free enterprise reforms allowed the economy to grow and poverty has been greatly reduced.

Lockdowns kill the economy, and they may end up killing far more people than the virus ever would. The newest figures show that 122 million people lost their jobs as a result of the lockdown in India. It may take years for the economy to recover, and millions are at risk in the meantime.

So how will they do when they are making $1.90 a day AND have COVID?

It seem the government of India need to start welfare program to help feed their people.

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I like the concern about only making $1.90 per day, in juxtaposition with the constant drum beat we don’t need a minimum wage.

Why can’t all these shutdown jobbers bootstrap and gey a better job anyway?

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In the grand scheme of things, $0 is really not that much worse than $1.90 a day.

At any rate, your “solution” is to rush pell mell back into the same system that causes these folks to earn $1.90 a day.

And you don’t see the problem?

You don’t see the problem with a system that’s on the verge of collapse if it has to shut down for 6-8 weeks? And not really even completely shut down?

How in any ways do you consider such a system to be “robust” that we can go from “the greatest economy the world has ever seen” to “economic collapse” in just six weeks?

I know this is going to be translated as a call to socialism but it’s not.

It is a call, however, to stop looking at this pause as nothing but a curse and take at least a few minutes to notice some of the glaring problems with our system before we rush right back to get on the nonstop carousel again.

Problems we never have time to notice because we are too busy being on the carousel whirling around in circles.


For real. We will know this Friday, but projections are about 15% unemployment. The real unemployment under Obama I heard was 40% and we didn’t collapse!


Let’s try not to make this political (useless wish, I know).

This is a serious thing.

COVID revealed a ton of cracks in our “greatest economy in history” that we never would have seen because we were too busy running around keeping the system running to pay serious attention to them.

And now that we are off the carousel…the constantly moving treadmill has stopped…and there’s this sudden push to get us back on it as fast as possible?

Has anyone stopped for even a moment to wonder why this sudden coordinated push is happening?


It’s clear why the push is happening

Because politics

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Yeah, but the thing is plenty of people have seen the weaknesses in our ‘greatest economy’ and have been advocating for things like paid sick leave, higher minimum wage, universal healthcare, better unemployment benefits, for decades.

And to an extent, that means the discussion now has to be political. Because, if suddenly we are all concerned about these things it would make sense to elect the people that have advocated for them for a long time instead of the people who are newly converted and only concerned because of the short term effects of one crisis.


Because the people who own the carousel have it pretty good when people are too busy riding it to pay attention to anything else.

How does that protect the economy? You’ve got all that right now and a projected $3T deficit.


A better more efficient health care system and paid sick leave would have led to people going in sooner to get tested instead of working through it spreading the virus. That’s one example.

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Oh bull ■■■■■ Nobody goes unless they are sick.

There wasn’t a test.


If this is a cause of death, then it lends credence left-wing narratives about exploitation and poverty.

That’s what the UN is working on. They will stop millions of people living on $1.90 a day, by stopping them living. Robots can do their work even cheaper.

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Sorry I disagree…for 1.90 per day?

Automation and robotics aren’t cheap. You can have hundreds of thousand of dollars tied up in one.

It’s why they’re still paying workers 1.90 a day. :wink: