From the Abstract: "What the IMF [International Monetary Fund] calls the 'great lockdown' has thrown Europe and the global economy into a deep recession. When putting their countries into lockdown, governments essentially pushed the panic button, mostly in the face of rising fatalities. Was this the right choice? The answer to this question is usually framed in terms of the lives saved versus jobs lost. However, a closer look at the actual expenses for medical care that the pandemic has engendered so far and a bottom-up calculation for hospitalisation costs suggests that the economic costs of the great lockdown, while very large, might still be lower than the medical costs that an unchecked spread of the virus would have caused. There might thus be no need to assign an economic value to the lives saved to come to the conclusion that an unchecked spread of Covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] would have led to even higher costs than the great lockdown."
Policy Insights No. 2020-11
Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS): https://www.ceps.eu/