[Question] Have the lockdowns been worth it?

There’s been a lot of discussion about whether the pandemic lockdowns have been worth it. However, much of the reasoning that we’ve seen has been very motivated and un-nuanced in a way that for us has distorted a lot of the information.

So this is not a thread for taking a position on that. This is a thread for raising individual considerations that are relevant for thinking about the question “Have the pandemic lockdowns, in general, been worth it?”

Every answer to this thread should analyze a single belief that is relevant to whether pandemic lockdowns have been worth it, such as

  • “No lockdown would have led to 300,000 additional loss of QALYs in the UK”

  • “GDP $1b lower than the counterfactual in Germany”

  • “The West will develop a vaccine in 6 months”

  • “A year in lockdown is worth 70% of a normal year and 85% of a covid year without lockdown”

  • “The impetus to try remote work has led to changes in workplace norms worth $1 trillion over the next decade”

and provide relevant facts, data and information available about that factor.

Answers in this thread should not attempt to take a position on the overall question. Answers that take a position on the overall question will be deleted. This thread will live up to the virtue of holding off on proposing solutions.

(By ‘lockdown’ we refer to the thing that the US, UK and China have been doing, and what Sweden didn’t. There is naturally a lot of variation between countries, so this cannot have a canonical answer. If your consideration only applies to a small number of countries, that is fine.)