Will “Deaths from Despair” Outweigh the Deaths of the Covid-19?

• A study of the relationship between unemployment and mortality shows that unemployment has increased the risk of death by 63%.
• It is not clear whether even a huge financial incentive at the federal level will be enough to halt or reduce the growth in unemployment that has already begun.
• The “deaths of despair” due to the forced “restrictions” imposed by the government (which lead to the collapse of the economy) will increase significantly and may surpass the deaths caused by the coronation itself.

According to most calculations, the “modeling” of the coronavirus epidemic used by researchers at Imperial College London convinced the Trump administration to impose extreme “social distancing” and “containment” measures to “control its growth curve.” of the coronary epidemic. ” The Imperial College London model was adopted as the basis for the US Government’s COVID-19 Action Plan, which is 100 pages long.

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[KG note: Of course, Bill Gates made no attempt to prevent Trump from applying the destructive “modeling” of Imperial College, although he publicly acknowledged that “the parameters used in Imperial College modeling were too negative”. . Forbes, 18-03-2020]

The model at Imperial College London is sadly inadequate. It is not a model for adopting increased use of personal protective equipment by the general public (such as, for example, face masks), nor for implementing medical interventions that have been shown to be likely to contribute to the reduction of coronavirus deaths ( such as the use of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin and intravenous L-ascorbic acid).

Of course, the Imperial College London model does not take into account the “deaths of despair” at all from the sharp rise in unemployment caused by the forced incarceration of citizens for weeks, months or years (the government’s COVID-19 Response Plan The US estimates that “the pandemic will last 18 months or more”).

The determinants of social health

There is a great deal of academic research on the “social determinants of health” and the “deaths of hopelessness” caused by rising unemployment. A groundbreaking research in this field was carried out in the mid-1970s by Harvey Brenner (later a researcher at Johns Hopkins University) on behalf of the Joint Economic Commission of the United States Congress. Brenner reviewed US historical data from 1940 to 1973, and found that:

“An increase in the unemployment rate of 1% over a period of six years was associated (over the last three decades) with an increase in deaths of 36,887 in total, including: 20,240 deaths from cardiovascular disease, 920 of suicides, 648 of homicides, 495 of cirrhosis, 4,227 of admissions to public psychiatric units and 3,340 of incarcerations in federal and state prisons. “

Brenner’s estimates have prompted many subsequent studies in England and Wales, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, resulting in a large body of literature that is critical to Brenner’s model (see, e.g., Cohen & Felson, 1979).
Brenner estimates are based on population data since 1970. According to the US Census Bureau, the US population increased from 205.1 million in 1970 to 327.2 million in 2018, an increase of 59.5% in average. in 48 years.

Thus, the real increase in mortality caused by today’s 1% increase in the unemployment rate, if continued for 5 years, will cause the loss of 58,834 lives.

A recent meta-analysis of 42 studies conducted in 15 countries on the relationship between unemployment and mortality showed that unemployment increased the risk of death by 63%. (Roelfs et al., 2011).

The question is therefore reasonable: how many additional deaths will be caused in the US by the increase in the unemployment rate caused by government measures to force “social isolation” and “incarceration” of citizens in their homes?
This depends on many factors, such as the number of unemployed and the duration of unemployment. The official unemployment rate in February 2020 was 3.5%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Finance Minister Steve Mnuchin has warned Congress that the unemployment rate could rise to 20% due to “isolation” measures to halt the coronation unless Congress approves a $ 1 trillion ($ 1 trillion) economy-boosting plan. call it the next day). New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Minnesota report that unemployment benefit applications have increased 10 to 12 times over the past week.

The financial crisis because of the coronation

Two-thirds of the US economy depends on consumer spending. With many states and cities applying various forms of forced incarceration (referred to as “extreme social distancing” and “home isolation”, which were unknown until a week ago), it is far from certain that even if implemented a gigantic federal support program for the economy will be enough to reduce the increase in unemployment already occurring in the United States.

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The 2008 financial crash shows that, when the economy slows, it takes years to regain its former speed. According to a study by Schularick & Taylor (2012) in 14 countries over the period 1870-2008, it appears that it takes 2 years for the country to recover from a normal recession, and 10 years for the country to recover from the severe recession. And while it is already projecting a downturn on the horizon, it is difficult to predict how long it will last.

Let’s look at 3 scenarios: lower, middle and upper unemployment. According to Brenner’s (1976) model, these data reflect the estimated cumulative effect of rising unemployment on mortality over a five-year decline period.
Lower Unemployment Range: If the unemployment rate rises by 5 points as a result of the various locks, then 294,170 extra lives will be lost by “despair deaths” rather than the coronation.

Medium Unemployment Range: If the unemployment rate rises by 16.5 points (as projected by the Finance Minister Munich), then 970,761 extra lives will be lost by “despair deaths” and not by the coronation.

Upper unemployment range: If the unemployment rate rises tenfold (this trend is already seen in many states), then 1,853,271 lives will be lost by “despair deaths” and not by the coronation but by government orders imposing citizens ‘social distance’ and ‘home restraint’.

The relationship between unemployment and mortality is higher for men than for women and higher for workers in their early and middle stages of their careers compared to older workers (Roelfs et al., 2011, p. 849). It is also reasonable to assume that the economic impact of the coronation will have a disproportionate impact on the poor and working classes that do not have significant financial reserves.

A large number of researchers have begun to ask questions about the feasibility of widespread “exclusion” measures for an indefinite period of time. (See: Wall Street Journal Editorial Committee, David L. Katz, Thomas Friedman, Russell Berman and Romer & Garber).

If the government wants to minimize the overall deaths from this crisis, it needs to adopt a better “model” of its approach. The use of personal protective equipment by as many citizens as possible and improved medical interventions can halt the growth of coronavirus. And they must be implemented immediately.

“Despair deaths” and coronary deaths must be calculated (and correlated) based on realistic, verifiable and independent prevalence and mortality rates. With today’s measures, “deaths from despair” due to the collapse of the economy due to the restrictions imposed on citizens will increase significantly and may exceed the number of victims by the coroner himself.

Article Origin: https://www.zougla.gr/apopseis/article/sinodos-tou-koronaiou-o-8anatos-apo-apelpisia
Επιμέλεια και επιλογή κειμένων: Κλεάνθης Γρίβα  
Translated from Greek to English 

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