Pre-2020, government enforced lockdowns and business closures were an untested and unproven set of policies.
Yet with zero high quality evidence to suggest that they would be effective, nearly every country worldwide almost immediately adopted lockdowns as their preferred strategy to deal with the spread of the coronavirus.
By mid-late March 2020, the world essentially shut down, based on China’s supposed “example.” Terrified politicians believed that China apparently “controlling” the virus meant that their jurisdiction could too.
Based on this inaccurate and misleading assumption, lockdowns caused huge disruptions to normal life and individual liberty for months or even years at a time.
So was it all worth it?
New survey data suggests it overwhelmingly was not.
At the start of the pandemic, public support for lockdowns was remarkably high, with 93% of British citizens supporting the government’s position.
Even as late as the middle of 2021, restrictions enjoyed broad public support: “A poll taken in July of 2021 – so after months of lockdown and the vaccine rollout – found that one third of Brits would support permanent social distancing, and 45% would support permanent vaccine travel requirements.
Now the tables have dramatically turned.
“A major global survey has found that most people on earth believe their country limited freedoms too much during the pandemic. The Democracy Perceptions Index surveyed 52,000 people in 53 countries – comprising 75% of the world’s population. Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed that “their government has gone too far in limiting people’s freedoms.”
In 50 of the 53 countries, there was net agreement that lockdowns went too far to limit freedoms.
In India, the spread was 66%, meaning that 66% more people thought that lockdowns went too far than those that didn’t.
Even Australia had net agreement that lockdowns went a disproportionate imposition, despite many Australians being led to believe that their superior morality and adherence to restrictions was the reason for their apparent “success.”
Countries that experienced strict lockdowns had the highest disapproval rating, but even United States residents, despite the country’s widely varied government mandates, were overwhelmingly in agreement about freedoms being limited:
One of the only three countries where locals did not believe lockdowns went too far was, funnily enough, Sweden.
Sweden never locked down, yet had significantly better results than most of Europe, especially with regards to excess mortality. As a result, Swedish citizens did not experience the dramatic, devastating erosion of freedoms that other country’s residents had to deal with.
When considering the academic research showing lockdowns did not work to reduce negative COVID outcomes, the abhorrent enforcement of government mandates looks even worse.
Every policy has trade offs with benefits and harms that can tip the balance to either side.
Thankfully, despite the overwhelming initial support, the global public is realizing that “experts” and politicians made enforcement decisions based on nothing, with zero benefits and tremendous harms.
Fauci supported lockdowns threw tens of millions of people into poverty unnecessarily, while many others were arrested or faced massive fines for the crime of leaving their homes or protesting government overreach.
Hopefully this tremendous disapproval rating means that lockdowns are permanently a feature of the disappointing past.