Boloori & Saghafian, “Health and Economic Impacts of Lockdown Policies in the Early Stage of COVID-19 in the United States”

From the paper published in Service Science (2023), Alireza Boloori (University of Washington-Tacoma), and Soroush Saghafian (Harvard):

Abstract: Lockdown policies, such as stay-at-home orders, are known to be effective in controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019. However, concerns over economic burdens of these policies rapidly propelled U.S. states to move toward reopening in the early stage of the pandemic. Decision making in most states has been challenging, especially because of a dearth of quantitative evidence on health gains versus economic burdens of different policies. To assist decision makers, we study the health and economic impacts of various lockdown policies across U.S. states and shed light on policies that are most effective. To this end, we make use of detailed data from 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia on various factors, including number of tests, positive and negative results, hospitalizations, ICU beds and ventilators used, residents’ mobility obtained from cellphone data, and deaths. Our analyses allow quantifying the total cost versus the total quality-adjusted life year (QALY) associated with various lockdown policies. We utilize a compartmental model with Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the spread
of disease. To calibrate our model separately for each U.S. state, we make use of empirical data on the intensity of intervention policies, age, ratio of Black/Hispanic populations, per capita income, residents’ mobility, and number of daily tests and feed them to a longitudinal mixed-effect model. Finally, we utilize a microsimulation model to estimate the total cost and total QALY for each state and perform cost-effectiveness analysis to identify policies that would have worked best. Our results show that, compared with no intervention during March–June 2020, the policies undertaken across the United States saved, on average, about 41,284.51 years’ worth of QALY (per 100K capita), incurring $164.01 million (per 100K capita). Had the states undertaken more strict policies during the same time frame than those they adopted, these values would be 44,909.41 years and $117.28 million, respectively. By quantifying the impact of various lockdown policies separately for each state, our results allow federal and state authorities to avoid following a “one size fits all” strategy and instead enact policies that are better suited for each state. Specifically, by studying the trade-offs between health gains and economic impacts, we identify the particular states that would have benefited from implementing more restrictive policies. Finally, in addition to shedding light on the impact of lockdown policies during our study period (March–June 2020), our results have important implications on curbing future fast-spreading variants of the coronavirus or other related potential epidemics.

And for the vaccine skeptics, Robert J. Barro (yes, that Robert J. Barro) steps in here.


10 thoughts on “Boloori & Saghafian, “Health and Economic Impacts of Lockdown Policies in the Early Stage of COVID-19 in the United States”

  1. pgl

    Bruce Hall demanded we look at the evidence from a couple of links neither of which told us anything about his little thesis. And then he pulls out a totally discredited paper as evidence of his bogus claims.

    Now we have two papers that ARE evidence – but not the evidence little Brucie tried to foist. Will Brucie still ignore this evidence? Will he find some other way to lie about the evidence? Or better – will Econned chime in with his usual worthless whining?

  2. pgl

    Our results show that, compared with no intervention during March–June 2020, the policies undertaken across the United States saved, on average, about 41,284.51 years’ worth of QALY (per 100K capita), incurring $164.01 million (per 100K capita). Had the states undertaken more strict policies during the same time frame than those they adopted, these values would be 44,909.41 years and $117.28 million, respectively.

    Ah but Brucie will argue that the value of a life is not nearly the same as the value of a six pack of his precious Budweiser. MAGA!

  3. pgl

    Off topic but doesn’t Glencore and Bunge own enough of this market? Please break up these merger monopolists!

    The federal government says it plans to review the $8-billion sale of Canadian-based grain-handling firm Viterra to a European-based conglomerate. Viterra is controlled by multinational commodities giant Glencore, which bought the company in 2011. Prior to that, Viterra was known as Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, a Regina-based co-operative that helped stabilize grain prices on behalf of farmers for decades. While Glencore has majority control of Viterra, two major Canadian pension plans — the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation — also own minority interests in the company.

    Amid a round of consolidation in the commodities sector earlier this year, Danish agribusiness giant Bunge agreed to pay more than $8 billion to take over Viterra’s assets and combine them with their own. Viterra has about 1,600 employees in Canada, scattered across 75 locations primarily in Western Canada. But around the world, Viterra has a presence in three dozen countries, employing more than 16,000 people and moving more than 70 million tonnes of grain every year. While shareholders of either company have yet to sign off on the plan, the proposed merger hit a roadblock Tuesday when Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez announced the federal government is going to review the deal to ensure it will benefit Canadians.

  4. Moses Herzog

    I’m still grateful that I had access to the shots for free at my local Wal Mart. The truth is I probably didn’t deserve to get them. But because the Grace of God I did. God shines light even on degenerates like me. And it HAD to be done as another person in my household is high risk. If all people were willing to go out and get the vaccine, we might not have had to have had all the shutdowns (or at least they could have been abbreviated in time span). But because all the “Karens” and red state “Billy Joe Bobs” refuse to either vaccinate themselves or their children, then other people have to suffer through lockdowns. I suppose the time to be “jackbooted” would have been then. But Biden never proposed that. And neither did any other single Democrat official, CDC etc propose that the functionally illiterate Karens, functionally illiterate Billy Joe Bobs, or even the functionally illiterate Bruce’s be forced to get a vaccine shot. They pleaded with the idiot Bruce’s to go get their own and their children’s shot. PLEADED with them to get the vaccine. But to no avail. donald trump and Republicans gave the illiterates their marching orders, and they took them, like all illiterate sycophants take their marching orders. Even if it ended up costing hundreds of thousands of their friends’, family members’, and next door neighbors’ lives. They had it have it their way, and they did.

    When illiterate Republicans all go out and get their shots, by their own volition, and by no imaginary “jackbooted thugs” or fantasyland “death squads” pressing, then, and only THEN Republicans can complain about shutdowns. But see~~~if Karens and Billy Joe Bobs had used their brain, the shutdowns could have been lifted, way earlier. But Karens would rather lay in their own feces and point the blame, and say “I can shop ANYWHERE I want, but I ‘want to talk to the manager’ because he is why I lay in my own feces. ‘I want to talk to the manager’ ”

    Non-paywalled older version of the paper:

  5. Ivan

    A lot of idiots will actually do the opposite of what they are ordered/asked to do by the authorities. Fighting a culture war with morons is like mud wrestling with pigs.

    It may be much more effective to just do some live broadcast of people gasping for air in the Covid isolation wards. Any restaurant that insists on staying open should be required to have that video feed on non-stop.

    1. Moses Herzog

      PBS NewsHour had enough of those genre of videos of regular people (Some of them white Republicans, OMG!!!!) gasping for air and dying (and family members describe the feeling of watching them die from a remote location to avoid spread of the virus inside the hospital). Talking to them by phone as they died. But you know how PBS is called educational TV, and that alone is enough to get the Karens and Brucie Babies to delete the channel from their TV. Geez, what self-respecting illiterate Republican would be caught watching educational TV, that doesn’t even require handing out the cost of 11+ meals a month to keep your cable connection. You didn’t think Karen and Brucie could be bothered to take 20 minutes of their day twice inside a single month so those people didn’t die, did you?? Vaccines are for the college educated and those who can read things more complicated than green, yellow and red~~not Karen and Brucie.

      1. Ivan

        That is why I think bars, restaurants and movie theaters etc. should be forced to broadcast those things if they want to remain open. Public service announcements on all channels including Fox. The idiots will certainly not seek actual truthful information on their own.

  6. pgl

    Trump really thinks he is going to get the UAW endorsement? Seriously?

    DETROIT – United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain doubled down on his criticism of former President Donald Trump ahead of the Republican presidential frontrunner’s rally Wednesday night at an auto parts supplier in Michigan.

    During national media interviews following Fain’s appearance with President Joe Biden on a UAW picket line Tuesday afternoon in suburban Detroit, the outspoken union leader denounced Trump’s track record with automotive unions. He also criticized the fact that Trump’s Wednesday visit will be at a nonunion company called Drake Enterprises.

    “I find a pathetic irony that the former president is going to hold a rally for union members at a nonunion business,” Fain said in an interview Tuesday night on CNN. “All you have to do is look at his track record — his track record speaks for itself.”

    When asked if he would meet with Trump during his trip, Fain said he sees “no point” in doing so “because I don’t think the man has any bit of care about what our workers stand for, what the working class stands for. He serves a billionaire class and that’s what’s wrong with this country.

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