The Costs of Michigan's Second Lockdown (Mackinac Center for Public Policy)
After several weeks of rising COVID-19 cases and deaths, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, using powers granted to the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Humans Services, banned indoor dining on Nov. 18, 2020. The ban remained in place until Feb. 1, 2021.
This report estimates the costs of that policy, in terms of employment losses in the restaurant and bar industry. It finds that employment fell by 23% in this sector over the period, significantly more than any other Midwestern states, including those that also temporarily banned indoor dining.
The report also highlights other costs associated with lockdown policies and assesses whether their purported benefits outweigh these costs. It documents that policies such as these were not recommended by prominent public health organizations prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that comparing data among states that did not pursue similar policies does not appear to justify these unprecedented policies.
The purported benefit of a shutdown is that it slows the spread of the virus, leading to fewer infections, and thus, fewer fatalities. Data on daily COVID-19 fatality trends, however, do not seem to show a connection between shutdowns and a reduction in deaths.
Now you know the real reason there hasn't been a 3rd lockdown. Actual data shows they don't really have the intended impact.What limited contact tracing data is publicly available indicates that few COVID-19 infections can be traced to the small businesses that were closed due to pandemic policies, such as bars and restaurants. Data released by the state of New York found that 74% of infections there were traced to household and social gatherings. Only 1.4% were traced to bars and restaurants and only 0.06% were traced to gyms. According to the Jan. 16, 2021, update from the Minnesota Department of Health, only 4% of cases can be traced to “community outbreak,” a category which includes, but is not exclusive to, bars and restaurants.
Data reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows a similar pattern.
The advice given and then acted on by Whitmer was an unprecedented disaster for our state that didn't have to happen.