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The Cost of Lockdown Policies


Published June 21, 2022

The goal of keeping children safe must be considered in the context of what this safety costs them in terms of learning loss, food scarcity, and other negative consequences. For the population as a whole, reducing excess mortality must be balanced against the human toll on mental health. Atlas reviews the data from states that took different approaches to stay-at-home policies and school closures.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is forced compliance ever justifiable during a pandemic?
  2. What would it take for medical experts to regain the trust of the public?

Additional Resources:

  • Read Scott Atlas’s book A Plague upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying AmericaAvailable here.
  • Read “During COVID, the More Prestigious the College, the Lower the Quality of Education,” by Paul Peterson, John Schoof, and Jay Greene via The HillAvailable here.
  • Watch “An Endless Summer: How COVID Has Reversed Academic Achievement,” with Macke Raymond on PolicyEd. Available here.