Those who do not weep, do not see.
— Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
In 2019, the coronavirus family, which has been causing respiratory disease in millions of humans worldwide every year for millennia, welcomed a new member.
The disease it causes, COVID-19, proved to be milder than seasonal flu in fairly healthy people under 70, but it was nearly 1,000 times deadlier in older people or those made vulnerable by serious pre-existing conditions.
Rather than focusing protective measures on the people at heightened risk of illness, governments around the world imposed and continue to impose severe restrictions on their entire population.
With routine medical care disrupted, businesses shuttered, curfews imposed, travel restricted, socialization criminalized, we are causing a devastating amount of harm.
The negative effects of lockdown are too often dismissed as small sacrifices, necessary to keep a highly deadly disease from spreading.
These sacrifices are, in fact, neither necessary nor small, and the disease is only a threat to a minority of the population that can be protected without lockdowns.
Sometimes, when major harms become hard to ignore, they are lamented as further damage caused by Covid, even though it is our panic-driven measures that are to blame.
The Price of Panic project is an effort to bring focus to the magnitude of suffering taking place around us because of lockdowns.
Hunger & Poverty
Virus-linked hunger tied to 10,000 child deaths each month
Second Lockdown Forces Myanmar’s Slum Dwellers To Hunt For Rats And Reptiles To Stave Off Hunger
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME
WFP Chief warns of grave dangers of economic impact of Coronavirus as millions are pushed further into hunger
One in six children living in extreme poverty, with figure set to rise during pandemic
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Colombia: Indigenous Kids at Risk of Malnutrition, Death
UN expert: Pandemic’s worst impacts on poverty yet to come
Death From Other Diseases
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION
At least 80 million children under one at risk of diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio as COVID-19 disrupts routine vaccination efforts, warn Gavi, WHO and UNICEF
THE DAILY WIRE
New CDC Numbers Show Lockdown’s Deadly Toll On Young People
Stillbirth rate rises dramatically during pandemic
The cost of inaction: COVID-19-related service disruptions could cause hundreds of thousands of extra deaths from HIV
THE DAILY MAIL
Lockdown “caused up to 21,000 extra deaths — many due to reduced access to healthcare”
1.8M people could die from tuberculosis in 2020: WHO
THE NEWS TRIBUNE
US overdose deaths appear to rise amid coronavirus pandemic
Puerto Rico shuts its only two 911 call centres amid coronavirus outbreak
Harm to Children
Four newborn babies die in one month at an Australian hospital
Huge rise in reports of online child abuse images
The pandemic has created a second crisis in India — the rise of child trafficking
THE TEXAS TRIBUNE
Alarming failure rates among Texas students fuel calls to get them back into classrooms
THE UN OFFICE FOR THE COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS
“Children at risk of lasting psychological distress from coronavirus lockdown”: Save the Children
Lockdowns could have long-term effects on children’s health
Anxiety, Depression & Suicides
More than 7 in 10 Gen-Zers report symptoms of depression during pandemic, survey finds
The Pandemic Has Caused An Increase In Anxiety, Stress, Depression And Suicides
Suicides on the rise amid stay-at-home order, Bay Area medical professionals say
THE BALTIMORE SUN
“The lockdown killed my father”: Farmer suicides add to India’s virus misery
Canadians reporting higher levels of anxiety, depression amid the pandemic
Isolation kills, especially seniors. Community spaces can be a vaccine for COVID loneliness.
Woman, 100, succumbs not to COVID but to isolation
WALL STREET JOURNAL
What Happens to the Musicians When the Orchestra Music Stops?
IOM, UNHCR announce temporary suspension of resettlement travel for refugees
GCC: Flawed laws exploited in pandemic to further crush freedom of expression
The pandemic has eroded democracy and respect for human rights
We do not have to accept the fallacy that this price, in lives and livelihoods, is necessary in order to limit the toll of Covid. To learn more about focused protection measures, please refer to the Great Barrington Declaration, a statement by infectious disease and epidemiology experts.
For continuing updates, go to the new website The Price of Panic.