How Many Lives Is Our National Lockdown Going to Cost? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
How Many Lives Is Our National Lockdown Going to Cost?
Tom Hanks at “Band of Brothers” premiere in 2001 (YouTube screenshot)

There is an episode of HBO’s Band of Brothers — it’s toward the end of the series, and perhaps even the last episode — when the war has just ended and the shooting has stopped, but they’re all still in Germany, and the guys in the company are strangely dying at a similar rate to when they were fighting.

They’re dying of accidents, alcohol-related incidents, stupid behavior, and so on.

Everybody ought to go watch that episode, because we’re about to be living it as this economic lockdown the media and those among us they’ve hooked have begged for continues.

People stuck in miserable conditions they have no power to change will engage in pathological behavior very quickly, and consequences will ensue. Drive through any American ghetto, barrio, or dying hillbilly town and you’ll see it in technicolor.

Consequences like what? How much time have you got?

How about suicides? In 2017, some 1.4 million Americans tried to kill themselves. Forty-seven thousand — some 129 per day — succeeded. Now that we’ve crashed our economy, to the tune that they’re now saying second-quarter GDP will fall off by 10 percent or more, how many people do you think will despair upon being economically ruined? Is it so hard to imagine a 10-percent spike in suicide rates?

As of Sunday night there were 416 deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus. Do you think it’s difficult to imagine a suicide rate increase covering at least that many since the lockdown began? Do you think it’s difficult to imagine that getting worse as the hopelessness and depression of people whose financial status has circled the drain continues with no clear end in sight?

How about drug overdoses? In 2018, for the first time in three decades, there was a small decline in the number of drug overdose deaths in America — 68,557 people died of drug overdoses that year. It’s pretty obvious that’s going to reverse itself now. With people all over the country put out of work and told they’ve got to hang around the house with nothing to do, there is absolutely no way to stop an increase in drug overdoses. What’s the death toll going to be on that score? A 10-percent increase in a year, like the country had routinely over the length of the opioid epidemic we thought we’d finally gotten on top of, is almost assured now. Can you not easily see another 7,000 overdose deaths attributable to this lockdown?

Heart attacks and strokes brought on by the stress of a sharp manmade recession? Some 647,000 Americans die of heart attacks and another 140,000 perish from strokes in an average year. The people with hypertension, heart disease, and other maladies that might make them at risk for the virus are also at risk from heart attacks and strokes, and this lockdown we’re told is so necessary for our own health probably makes many of them medical time bombs whether they catch the virus or not.

We could go on. Domestic abuse, alcohol-related accidents, street crime, you name it. There are countless ways to die, and many of them are directly or convincingly indirectly related to stress and behavioral factors. Shut the economy down and put us all in that Band of Brothers episode, and watch how quickly those factors mount up to cause the public health crisis you thought you were avoiding by locking everybody in their houses.

And don’t you dare claim that “this worked in China.” For you to claim that is for you to take the statistics the Chinese Communist government has offered at face value. Those statistics are a waste of ink, and you know it. The Chicoms threw out all the foreign reporters, so there is virtually no objective journalism left there, and then claimed they had beaten the virus. Now they’re claiming they’re at threat from foreigners bringing it back in, which is as absurd as their claim it was the U.S. Army that caused the initial infection in Wuhan.

They’re claiming they’ve stopped the virus, it seems, because they stopped testing for it.

Of course they did. The Chicoms have never cared about their people, something they’ve proved for decades as they’ve slaughtered them in the millions. But what they do care for is the prestige and profit of their gangster regime, and they’re realizing the world is less than pleased with them and many are now openly discussing the overdue step of repatriating supply chains, or at least sharing the wealth with the Indias and Brazils and Malaysias and Colombias of the world. They can’t have that, so they have to tell a good story about how their iron will and cool competence killed a virus you’re not allowed to hold them responsible for — and because all the non-Chinese now have it we’re not allowed to go there and re-infect them.

Which conveniently reduces the likelihood someone might return from China and tell everyone whether or not those claims of having beaten the virus through extreme social distancing are true.

Then there’s Italy. There are now nearly (or over, depending on when you read this) 60,000 cases in Italy, and some 5,476 had died as of this writing. The Italians, it’s said, didn’t lock their economy down and are paying an enormous price. And America must lock its economy down or else suffer Italy’s fate.


You already know about that official study that said 99 percent of the deaths from the Wuhan virus in Italy involved people who already had serious illnesses. It turns out the Italians are tossing as many deaths onto the coronavirus pile as they can; only some 12 percent of the total number being attributed to the virus can be identified as primarily dying of it. In other words, people on death’s door in Italian hospitals are testing positive for this and dying from it, and they’re using the virus as a catch-all, all the while essentially giving up on all their coronavirus patients who are 60 or older, like any good socialized medical system can be expected to do. It was the Italian experience that got policymakers elsewhere in the West and particularly here ready to believe that cockamamie study from Imperial College London, which predicted four million deaths from something the death rate of which continues dropping precipitously the more people are tested for it.

At one point the death rate in the United States was 5 percent. Now it’s barely more than 1 percent, which is a function of testing rather than medicine. Test more people and you’ll find more cases, but the virus will kill whom it kills. Assuming, of course, that those deaths are accurately attributed to the virus, which isn’t really true in Italy, apparently, and certainly isn’t true in China, where they’ve lied about everything having to do with their pandemic.

We’ve gone from testing 7,174 people on March 14 to testing 44,068 on March 21, and — try not to be shocked at this — we’ve seen a giant increase in the number of cases despite a pretty small increase in deaths. By March 28 we’ll likely be testing 100,000 Americans a day, and we’ll end up with huge increases in cases. That’s a known thing, and it’s a good thing, but our mainstream media has proven they can’t handle it responsibly. We will see story after inflammatory story claiming a massive explosion in cases, making for the necessity of an ever-more draconian lockdown of the economy and capturing all of us as prisoners in our homes. Every politician in America will be carried along in this wave of panic, so much so that it will soon be, if it isn’t now, outside of the Overton Window to call for a scaleback in the velocity of the overreaction. Just leaving things in their current stranglehold will be considered by the clowns in the press as “inaction” as the caseload increase produced by the testing mounts.

So much so that you will very likely see our politicians expand testing exponentially in an effort to find more and more cases so as to justify the lockdown. If the same volume and methods of testing start to produce slower increases of positives, much less a decline in the number of cases, it’s going to be recognized as a sign the worst is over. But they will keep it going, testing more and more, in order to cover their asses. The last thing they want is for the public to start pushing back against the lockdown, saying it was an overreach. Having fanned the flames of this thing, they have to keep it going long enough to take credit for “saving lives” by doing it.

They’ll do that without the slightest acknowledgment of the lives destroyed, if not ended, by this lockdown. What they’ll say is they saved the health-care system from being overrun, when it’s entirely possible all the other causes of hospitalization will fill up the beds as the lockdown takes its toll.

Many of you think that if someone is pushing back against this lockdown, it means they don’t take the Wuhan virus seriously, and that they don’t care about the lives it places at risk.

That is absolute, utter bovine scatology. What it means is they see the bigger picture and they’re concerned for the safety and well-being of people who don’t have this virus, too. And there are a whole lot more of them than there will be who have this virus.

Those stories will surface. When they do, just remember that Band of Brothers episode you’re living in, and consider the irony that Tom Hanks, who served as an executive producer and show-runner for the series, contracted what appears to have been a mild case of the Wuhan virus.

We wish him a quick and robust recovery. As we do for the country caught in the grip of its media and government.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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