The Response to COVID-19: Do Lockdowns Cause more Harm than Benefit?

December 15, 2020 :: Dr. Ari Joffe
Moderated by SACPA administrator

The response to COVID-19 across the world has involved lockdowns in order to "flatten the curve" of cases and deaths. This public health response was initially based on inaccurate estimates of infection mortality rates and high-risk groups, overestimating the threat from COVID-19.

In addition, the response did not consider many unintended effects of lockdowns on population well-being, including so-called collateral damage (for example, unemployment, loneliness, interrupted healthcare, interrupted education), and economic recession.

Recently, debate has framed decisions as a trade-off between "lives and the economy", but the speaker will argue that this could be a false dichotomy, because the economy is about lives and a cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns shows that they cause more harm than benefit in terms of population well-being and deaths.

Speaker: Dr. Ari Joffe

Ari Joffe MD is a pediatrician who specialized in pediatric infectious diseases and critical care medicine. He has practiced as a pediatric intensive care physician since 1995 at Stollery Children's Hospital, and is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Joffe is also an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the John Dossetor Health Ethics Center at the University of Alberta. He has published in the medical literature on topics including health ethics, long-term outcomes after intensive care in children, and sepsis (severe infection).

Date and time: Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020 at 10am MST

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