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At the start of the pandemic, professor of Wellbeing Economics at the London School of Economics and co-author of the book “The Great COVID Panic” Dr. Paul Frijters, saw that governments’ response to COVID-19 did not match the level of lethality of the virus and decided to develop a method to quantify the harm government COVID policies would have on people’s well-being.
Frijters’s analytical models revealed that the harm from policies, including lockdowns, would be colossal compared to any benefits.
“I could calculate what kind of ballpark figure the mental health crisis would look like, and then I lay that out against the best estimates as to what these lockdowns were supposed to do,” Frijters said during a recent interview on the American Thought Leaders program. “And it was like comparing a mountain with a mole heap, and the mountain’s the cost and the mole heap was the benefits in the best state of the world.”
In order to understand this phenomenon, he decided to look into crowd psychology and saw signs of what people do when they are in a panic.
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