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New study shows devastating effect of lockdowns

Posted by Yudi Sherman

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Mon, Mar 21, 2022

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00:10 AM

Frontline News contacts lockdown advocates but receives no response

New study shows devastating effect of lockdowns

A recent study by Clalit Health Services has found that COVID-19 lockdowns had a devastating psychiatric impact on Israelis, reports Israel Hayom

The study reviewed 771,636 medical files of residents of Jerusalem and central Israel. It found that during the lockdown periods there was a whopping 60% increase in patients suffering from psychiatric disorders compared with 2019. 

It also found a 14% increase in patients with cardiovascular diseases, an 8% increase in obese patients, a 7% increase in smoking patients, and a 6% increase in patients with high blood pressure. 

This comes after a report earlier this month by Ha’aretz which warns of a “psychiatric pandemic” due to the harsh psychiatric impact of lockdowns and quarantines, particularly on children and adolescents. 

“There is an increase in suicidal ideation, and while there is no clear indication of actual suicides, there is an evident increase in suicidal ideation, intention or behavior,” Psychologist Yaakov Ophir told Ha’aretz. 

Ophir, who is a research associate at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, said that since children are not affected by COVID-19, they should not have to be isolated. 

“Let me say something controversial,” said Ophir. “We know that the elderly and those with underlying conditions are at risk from the pandemic, but that it is not a disease that affects children. When we use aggressive collective measures, without distinguishing children from people at risk, we put our kids in a pressure cooker and create a really dangerous situation for them. It is time for this to stop, and we should have done so long ago.” 

Another study by Johns Hopkins University in January showed that lockdowns not only did not have any effect on mortality rates but did prove to have severe negative consequences. 

“While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted,” states the study. “In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.” 

Israel spent more time in lockdowns than any other country, reported the Jerusalem Post, with three lockdowns in 2020 totaling 139 days. 

In 2020, many opposed the lockdowns, citing psychological, financial and economic concerns, which far outweighed the <2% mortality rate. Many continued to oppose the lockdowns after each one proved futile. 

Despite this, some remained proponents of the harsh lockdowns, including Clalit Health Services themselves, which in a 2020 study said that there was “a profound decrease in a variety of clinical symptoms following the implementation of a lockdown in Israel” and that this would be “of major interest for COVID-19 pandemic, as many countries consider implementation of lockdown strategies.” 

Other proponents of the lockdowns, aside from the politicians who imposed them, included academics and journalists. 

Ronit Calderon-Margalit, a professor of epidemiology at Hebrew University, advised the government on lockdowns, considering them to be “useful”. 

Lockdowns “have been very very useful in reducing morbidity and mortality in the first two rounds,” said Calderon-Margalit, according to NBC News. 

Frontline News reached out to Calderon-Margalit for her response to the above study showing that lockdowns were not useful at all in curbing mortality or morbidity, and to request a copy of her contradictory data, which she did not provide. 

Frontline News also reached out to journalist David Rosenberg, who wrote two articles for Ha’aretz advocating for lockdowns. 

In one article, titled “Israel Saved Billions by Forgoing a Lockdown. Now It's Paying the Price,” Rosenberg tries to argue in favor of lockdowns.  

“Prime Minister Naftali Bennett hates COVID lockdowns, but mass quarantines and long testing lines as a result of the omicron variant's uncontrolled spread come at a cost too,” Rosenberg writes. 

In another, titled “Israel’s Economy Is Ready for an Omicron Lockdown, but Are Israelis?” Rosenberg writes that “Europe is gradually succumbing to lockdowns to fight omicron, and Israel may have no choice but to join them.” 

Rosenberg did not respond to Frontline News’ request for comment on the scientific data which show lockdowns as severely harmful. 

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