Lockdown behavior by state governments has contributed to a 77% increase in the rates of type 2 diabetes in children, after that same rate had already doubled between 2009 and 2017.
When Johns Hopkins University, the institution that played a principal role in providing what many of the world’s largest news sources used as the official death rate and case rate of COVID-19, published the landmark study that found government lockdown behavior caused substantially more harm to society than any value in the reduction of viral spread, media sources divided themselves as to whether this could be regarded as true.
Simply this was because those in favor of lockdown behavior had just a few metrics on which to build their case—deaths and infection rate, while scientists arguing against took a position that a broad mosaic of hard-to-quantify factors such as reduction of cancer screenings or chemotherapy sessions leading to additional cancer deaths, or deaths from suicide, would affect society more strongly than COVID-19 would in an unlocked-down society.
Further still, many of the costs of lockdowns in terms of additional illnesses or deaths would likely come far beyond the time horizons of studies trying to quantify them, for example, a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics that found “an unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the frequency of diagnosis of youth-onset type 2 diabetes, increasing by 77.3% compared with the average in the 2 prior years”.
The CDC currently warns that one-third of children in America are overweight, which probably should have been taken into account when prescribing lockdown policies such as closing public parks, a prescription which 16 states and D.C. applied.
“During the COVID-19 lockdown, children were removed from normal day-to-day routines like going to school, playing sports and other hobbies,” the authors write. “Not only were they less physically active, they were confined to their homes and spent a lot more time watching TV, playing video games, or with other electronic devices”.
“The long-term implications of this rapid rise in youth-onset type 2 diabetes case numbers are important in the context of the final outcome analysis of the… study, which demonstrated an alarming incidence of complications—60% of youth experienced at least one complication after a mean follow-up of 13.3 years”.
These are lessons that need to be remembered in case of future pandemic outbreaks, the need of increased planning for which COVID-19 has certainly underlined. The CDC and other national health advisory bodies should always consider the long-term effects of advisory guidelines, especially because they largely never did so between February 2020 and December 2021.