Lives Saved and Lost in the First Six Month of the US COVID-19 Pandemic: A Retrospective Cost-Benefit Analysis   [open pdf - 356KB]

From the Abstract: "In the beginning of the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] US epidemic in March 2020, sweeping lockdowns and other aggressive measures were put in place and retained in many states until end of August of 2020; the ensuing economic downturn has led many to question the wisdom of the early COVID-19 policy measures in the US. This study's objective was to evaluate the cost and benefit of the US COVID-19-mitigating policy intervention during the first six month of the pandemic in terms of COVID-19 mortality potentially averted, versus mortality potentially attributable to the economic downturn. We conducted a synthesis-based retrospective cost-benefit analysis of the full complex of US federal, state, and local COVID-19-mitigating measures, including lockdowns and all other COVID-19-mitigating measures, against the counterfactual scenario involving no public health intervention. We derived parameter estimates from a rapid review and synthesis of recent epidemiologic studies and economic literature on regulation-attributable mortality. According to our estimates, the policy intervention saved 866,350-1,711,150 lives (4,886,214-9,650,886 quality-adjusted life-years), while mortality attributable to the economic downturn was 57,922-245,055 lives (2,093,811- 8,858,444 life-years). We conclude that the number of lives saved by the spring-summer lockdowns and other COVID-19-mitigation was greater than the number of lives potentially lost due to the economic downturn. However, the net impact on quality-adjusted life expectancy is ambiguous."

2022 Yakusheva et al. Posted here with permission. Document is under a Creative Commons license and requires proper attribution and noncommercial use to be shared: [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/].
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PLOS Journals: https://plos.org/#journals/
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PLoS ONE (January 21, 2022), v.17 no.1
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