* List of 25 Ways the Shutdown (and a recession) Kills People: Fear is not without its victims. Real Science Radio's Bob Enyart and Fred Williams list the ways that an economic downturn (from COVID-19 or otherwise) kills people...
- Suicide increases; typically, its the 10th leading cause of death; 2nd cause of death for young adults; August 2020 Update: CDC reports 25% of young adults "seriously considered suicide" in the past 30 days, 10% of the entire population; See also Utah Highway Patrol's 80% increase in quarantine mental health interventions; 1000% surge in contacts with the Federal Emotional Support Hotline.
- Starvation as recession could horrifically increase the nine million worldwide annual deaths from extreme malnutrition. August Update: Lancet published Johns Hopkins University worldwide research showing the coronavirus shutdown monthly stunting from extreme malnutrition the growth of 550,000 kids and each month killing by starvation another 10,000 children. And remember the adults who also suffer similarly in third-world nations.
- Stress, a major factor in increased disease, depression, and directly, death itself (as Kaiser finds "major" increase in stress with 15% reporting worsening mental health over lost income. Updates: The group FAIR Health studies a billion health care invoices annually and has reported that comparing April 2019 with Aprill 2020, as a percent of all medical bills, insurance claims have doubled for intentional self-harm by teens. Also, a study published four days before our RSR program that we were unaware of indicates that stress from the shutdown will destroy seven times more years of life than the lockdowns will save.
- Unemployment increases death rate by 50% from disease, accidents, etc. (so 40 million Americans apparently have dramatically increased death rates; NYC 5,293 excess mortality deaths 3/11-5/2 which the CDC understandably sees as CoV-2 caused but perhaps 50% should be attributed to early shutdown deaths).
- Charitable giving sharply declines during a recession.
- Forego routine healthcare/early diagnosis (Tuberculosis to kill 1.4 million more victims from just the first three months of shutdown, according to research from Johns Hopkins, etc; 80,000 Americans missed cancer diagnoses through June; as the American College of Cardiology warned an Anchorage cadiologist saw six unnecessary deaths in March; NY Times 6/16/20 care "has become unaffordable" for millions).
- Forego known and needed medical treatment for known ailments (Hospitals losing $1.1 billion daily so laying off healthcare workers).
- Increased loneliness from fewer family visits leading to death by broken heart. Update: Politico in mid-September reports that isolation due to the lockdown has killed 25,000 more people from dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
- Forego needed vehicle maintenance increasing crashes.
- Forego recreational exertion and work-related physical exercise.
- Forego equipment maintenance increasing workplace accidents.
- Forego healthier foods to eat less nutritiously deteriorating health.
- Extended disappointment can lead to depression, then to death.
- Increasing family debt leads to increased stress (which kills, see above).
- Increase in polluted water and air not tolerated by prosperous societies.
- Farmers may produce less for various economic reasons.
- Manufacturers may cut corners producing less safe and satisfactory products.
- Increased crime including because less money is spent on security.
- Failed businesses bring enormous stress to owners and employees.
- Career employment is replaced by poorly paying jobs.
- Marriages fail leading to depression in adults and children.
- Raised by a mom alone is the primary indicator of kids ending up on welfare, as criminals, addicts, and early death.
- Increased marijuana and other drug use (drug overdose deaths up 50% in 2020 in Franklin County, Ohio, for ex.).
- Increased alcohol abuse.
- Increased abortion.
- Government leaders who don't understand godly principles of government introduce additional socialist measures which overtime lead to increased societal dysfunction, depression, and death.
A few final points indicate the myriad ways the COVID shutdown kills and otherwise harms people. First, it has stopped elective surgery, much of which the patients themselves do not consider elective. Then, by the law of unintended consequences, in a surge in armed robberies, criminals are explioiting public mask wearing. And third, for every one person who dies as a consequence of the shutdown or any economic recession, many many more people grieve and have an increase in stress, unhappiness, failure, depression, disease, and divorce. (See also Part 2, and separately, our List of 25 rsr.org/covid-conspiracies.)
Lawsuit Update: Dozens of media outlets are reporting on our lawsuit's first-round victory as Federal Judge Daniel D. Domenico issued a preliminary injunction striking down the mask mandate and a building capacity limit in Colorado's coronavirus restrictions for Bob Enyart's church.
Positive Offsetting Factors: The shutdown consequences (some of which apply to recessions also) that may actually save lives include...
- people, friends, families and church members relying more on one another
- some social government services being curtailed
- weakening an institution that strangles youth, WSJ reports the shutdown is an "unmitigated disaster" for higher education
- more kids liberated from public school as an unintentional return to single-income households gives a parent the opportunity to homeschool; RSR predicted in the spring at least a 200,000 increase in homeschoolers due ot the shutdown from 1.6M to 1.8M, whereas Gallup in late August suggested homeschooling could increase by a million students! November Update: More recent surveys indicate millions of parents considering homeschooling.
- in one high school class, without the daily peer pressure, 7 of their 9 girlboys began detransitioning
- the emotional fulfillment from increased economization
- the economic benefit of an increase in preparedness for future hard times
- reduced traffic
- reduced respiratory illness from temporarily reduced traffic pollution
- recognition of our dependence upon and need for Jesus may result not only in more conversions to Christ but in more godly wisdom to light and salt society.
* Rejected Ways: We've rejected a decrease in blood donations and an increase in the orphaning of children and in domestic violence as factors on our above list. And please don't hesitate to email Bob@rsr.org to suggest additions or arguments for deletions from either of the above to lists. Thanks!
* rsr.org/ways: You can easily access this page and share it on social media with either of its abbreviated URLs, rsr.org/25 or rsr.org/ways. Our classic rsr.org/lists include today's program and our List of Ways to Reduce Crime.
* This Above is Actually our List of Ways a Recession Kills People: (It's just that for now, shutdown communicates more clearly and of course a prolonged shutdown causes a recession, that is, an economic downturn.) The opposite of a nationally-improving standard of living is an increase in dying. Bob and Fred first ask the question, What makes an economy function? And answer that it is not money but its when we do as the Bible commands and "serve one another." Then they mention that so much economic calculation, including many of these ways that increase death, often happen "on the margins", to people and in circumstances where events could go one way or another, and a "tipping point" otherwise avoided is reached because of economic stress.
* Thought Experiments: Items in the above list not sourced to actual scientific studies can be evaluated by simple thought experiments. As we discuss at rsr.org/math thought experiments are incredibly effective and have led to many amazing discoveries even in the hard sciences, including:
- Virtually all of Albert Einstein's discoveries
- The LaGrange point parking spaces for our space satellites discovered in 1736
- Paul Dirac's discovery of antimatter including its positrons
- Max Planck's discovery of the Planck constant
- Peter Higgs of the Higgs boson
- James Clerk Maxwell's 1859 discovery that Saturn's rings were made of disconnected particles, a discovery not confirmed by observation until 122 years later by NASA's Voyager 2 mission.
So on today's program Bob and Fred briefly discuss thought experiments, a methodology within economics and the broader science of praxeology, as strongly recommended by Ludwig von Mises in one of Bob's favorite books, Mises' magnum opus, Human Action.
* Wuhan Flu: (See our main rsr.org/covid page.) We designed this map of China with the widely-recognized SARS-CoV-2 virus graphic superimposed to not let their communist government get away with the lies and cover-up that ignited the pandemic.