Lockdowns and deaths of despair

I and others predicted that there would be many more “deaths of despair” as a result of the lockdowns and “stay at home” orders put in place by state and local government to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (See here and here and here and here and here.)

With this in mind, this article from the Herald-Times is nowhere close to being a surprise.

Accidental drug overdoses in Monroe County more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, according to data from the county coroner’s office.

Forty-nine people died from accidental drug overdoses in 2020, up from 21 in 2019. Last year’s total also was nearly twice as high as the average of 25 deaths from drug poisoning reported for Monroe County by the state between 2015 and 2019.

The debate over economic lockdowns was never about lives vs. the economy. It was always about lives vs. lives and what policy would save the most lives while causing the least amount of harm. No one wanted to hear this at the beginning of the pandemic, but I was right all along and this article proves it. See, I told you so!