A Monday report from the New York Times is finally saying what we have been saying at TheBlaze since the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic: The lockdown measures we have instituted to save lives are inevitably going to end up costing a lot of lives. Perhaps many more than they saved.
The New York Times notes specifically that the combined effects of the coronavirus lockdowns and the diversion of medical resources to battle the pandemic will likely have deleterious effects on worldwide efforts to battle diseases that are bigger killers every year than the coronavirus has been this year, including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV.
The Times report specifically laments that the lockdowns have caused people in areas of the world that are most stricken by these diseases to eschew traveling to clinics for testing and treatment, which is likely to cause these diseases to spread like wildfire.
According to the Times, deaths from these diseases were at historical low points in 2018, the last year for which data was available. But according to Dr. Pedro L. Alonso, the director of the World Health Organization’s global malaria program, “Covid-19 risks derailing all our efforts and taking us back to where we were 20 years ago.”
The report notes, “About 80 percent of tuberculosis, H.I.V. and malaria programs worldwide have reported disruptions in services, and one in four people living with H.I.V. have reported problems with gaining access to medications, according to U.N. AIDS. Interruptions or delays in treatment may lead to drug resistance, already a formidable problem in many countries.”
In other words, the consequences of these lockdowns are likely to be permanent, not temporary.
According to one estimate, there are likely to be 6.3 million additional cases and 1.4 million additional deaths from tuberculosis alone due to the lockdowns. The report also quotes an estimate stating that there are likely to be 500,000 additional deaths from HIV due to medication disruptions, and another estimate stating that an additional 385,000 people might die per year due to malaria.
There have been less than 700,000 deaths due to the coronavirus globally as of the time of the writing of this article.
All of this was eminently predictable and was, in fact, predicted by many shutdown opponents. I wrote a column here at TheBlaze back in April that specifically argued that lockdowns would cause other diseases to spread more rapidly and become more deadly.
Four months later, it seems that the New York Times has finally decided that this is no longer fearmongering, but instead obvious scientific fact.