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Article

Are Lockdowns Effective in Managing Pandemics?

Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Jerusalem College of Technology, Jerusalem 9116001, Israel
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jon Øyvind Odland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9295; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159295
Received: 6 July 2022 / Revised: 27 July 2022 / Accepted: 27 July 2022 / Published: 29 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
The present coronavirus crisis caused a major worldwide disruption which has not been experienced for decades. The lockdown-based crisis management was implemented by nearly all the countries, and studies confirming lockdown effectiveness can be found alongside the studies questioning it. In this work, we performed a narrative review of the works studying the above effectiveness, as well as the historic experience of previous pandemics and risk-benefit analysis based on the connection of health and wealth. Our aim was to learn lessons and analyze ways to improve the management of similar events in the future. The comparative analysis of different countries showed that the assumption of lockdowns’ effectiveness cannot be supported by evidence—neither regarding the present COVID-19 pandemic, nor regarding the 1918–1920 Spanish Flu and other less-severe pandemics in the past. The price tag of lockdowns in terms of public health is high: by using the known connection between health and wealth, we estimate that lockdowns may claim 20 times more life years than they save. It is suggested therefore that a thorough cost-benefit analysis should be performed before imposing any lockdown for either COVID-19 or any future pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; Spanish Flu; disaster management; decision making; health and wealth COVID-19; Spanish Flu; disaster management; decision making; health and wealth
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yanovskiy, M.; Socol, Y. Are Lockdowns Effective in Managing Pandemics? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 9295. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159295

AMA Style

Yanovskiy M, Socol Y. Are Lockdowns Effective in Managing Pandemics? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(15):9295. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159295

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yanovskiy, Moshe, and Yehoshua Socol. 2022. "Are Lockdowns Effective in Managing Pandemics?" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 15: 9295. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159295

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