The debate over the stringency of and exit from the lockdown measures is usually framed as a choice between public health outcomes and the economy. The erosion of liberal democratic freedoms is another component of the tradeoff equation. Yet it’s possible that in the fullness of time, economies might rebound but the cascade of lockdowns across the world will be shown to have killed more people than it saved, and also more people than died of COVID-19 itself.

The lockdown-created non-COVID Grim Reaper comes creeping down six pathways.

First, lockdowns could have a profound and pervasive impact on mental health and lead to more suicides. U.S. experts are warning of an approaching “historic wave” of mental health problems caused by the prolonged “daily doses of death, isolation and fear.”