Thoughts on economics and liberty

My next TOI blog post: Lockdown origins and harms

I’ve already shared yesterday, but for the record – for someone searching for my posts – my next post in Seeing the Invisible: Times of India blog:




studies the column uses to make its point are clearly cherry-picked as they’re not only dozens of studies saying the contrary, but clear methodological shortcomings. The first one is titled “The Efficacy of Lockdown Against COVID-19: A Cross-Country Panel Analysis.” The study asserts that lockdowns were effective in reducing caseloads after running an average of the performance of 202 countries from January 10, 2020, to May 10, 2020. This study was one of the first attempts at piecing together empirical evidence at the very start of the pandemic, which should tell you all you need to know. The study even has a disclaimer that reads,

“For these reasons, we highlight the importance of and need for further investigations on this topic, which may focus on more specific territorial or climatic subsamples, or on how governments have implemented lockdown policies.”

Plugging in hundreds of countries without any regard to context whether it be timing, geographic location, or even the types of policies involved at what would be just the beginning of the pandemic is a quick way to start a conversation, but nothing further. We now know much more.

A similar issue comes up in the second study the author uses to prove his point. The study is titled “Is Lockdown Effective in Limiting SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic Progression?—a Cross-Country Comparative Evaluation Using Epidemiokinetic Tools.” It’s already off on the wrong foot as its timeline runs from February 23, 2020, to June 14, 2020. Furthermore, the study simply notes the initial fall in daily new cases in a number of countries that implemented lockdowns with Sweden and the United States as a comparison as a non-lockdown country and variable lockdown country respectively.

Again no consideration for context when it comes to timing, social behavior, or government policy. Furthermore, as we all know the pandemic and the use of lockdowns didn’t end in the summer of 2020.


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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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