Meta Analysis: Lockdowns reduced COVID-19 mortality by 3%

Courtesy of: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Courtesy of: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

(Baltimore, MD) -- A new meta analysis on the effectiveness of lockdowns in combating COVID-19 says the practice may be less effective than initials studies determined. 

The meta study, written by the John Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, looked at 24 separate studies looking at COVID-19 lockdown effectiveness. The meta study looked at studies which evaluated the effectiveness of lockdowns on COVID-19 mortality. You can read the full study here.

It says the study "fails to confirm that lockdowns have had a large, significant effect on mortality rates." The average lockdown in Europe and in the United States reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% compared to a COVID-19 policy based on recommendations alone. Shelter in-place orders were also touched on, with the meta study saying COVID-19 mortality was only reduced by 2.9%. The meta study concludes that lockdowns were an ineffective way to reduce mortality rates, at least during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

The meta study specifically looked at non-pharmaceutical interventions, or policies that restricted movement, closed schools and businesses, banned international travel, and other similar policies. The meta study did not consider things like voluntary behavioral changes (e.g. voluntary mask wearing), the effect of recommendations (e.g recommended mask wearing), or governmental services (voluntary mass testing and public information campaigns).