Suicide, economic strain, and COVID-19

Note: If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, help and hope is available and effective. Please call the resources here. [Hotline: 1-833-456-4566] If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 911 immediately.


All medications have potential side effects. All treatments have potential downsides. Even a decision to do nothing is a decision–and it has a potential negative effects.

As we head into yet another week of lockdown with no clear end in sight, unemployment climbs and GDP continues to drop. This is a “side effect,” if you will, of the public health “treatment” for the COVID-19 outbreak. And it is a not insignificant question to ask when those side effects begin to outweigh the benefits (or if they already have).

I don’t think anyone knows this for certain. There’s more we could say, but that’s a subject for another time.

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Estimating economic value of a life

An interesting, if somewhat cold-hearted, look at economics vs epidemiology: Globe and Mail.

In this example, they don’t mention adjusting for age of death, which is obviously going to be a factor in the economic “cost” of each death (aside from the obvious human costs, which I trust don’t need to be spelled out).