COVID Lockdown Insanity

The COVID Deaths It Prevented,

The Depression and Suicides It Caused,

What We Should Have Done,

And What It Shows We Could Do Now to Address Real Crises

From the Introduction

Our response to COVID has surprised, fascinated, and appalled me from the beginning. It seemed obvious to me from the beginning that we were vastly overreacting to this and doing more harm than good. For a moment in the spring of 2020, I doubted my position, thinking, basically, “Every country in the world is reacting to this with lockdowns. The health departments in almost every country in the world are in favor of lockdowns. What are the odds I am right and practically every other expert in the world is wrong?” But it turns out I was right. And it turns out I was not the only expert who thought at the beginning that this was a vast overreaction; it is just that the media did not present them and allow them to express their point of view, just as the tech giants and the news media would do to me.


I also knew COVID was not trivial and that I and everyone was likely to contract it and that there was a small possibility, maybe 1 in 1,000, that I would die from it at my age. My main fear from that was not that I might die, but that if I did people would laugh at me and mock me because I had been outspoken in saying we had overreacted to COVID.


The heart of this book is an examination of the evidence of, first, how many COVID deaths has the lockdown strategy prevented and, second, how much harm has it done, mostly not in economic terms but in human terms, including increasing suicides, drug overdose deaths, and clinical depression.  It is shocking to me that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our government officials have never estimated or made any claims of how many COVID infections and COVID deaths the lockdown strategy has prevented, let alone any estimate of how much harm lockdowns have done. It is treated as if we had no choice: We had to close schools, issue stay-at-home orders, order mask wearing, close restaurants, close churches, etc.

And since we had no choice, supposedly, I guess we are supposed to think it is pointless and heartless toward the elderly and the 550,000 who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. to ask whether and to what extent the lockdown strategy worked, i.e., how many COVID deaths did it prevent? Oh well, call me heartless, but I will ask anyway. . . .



“Hugh McTavish methodically hacks his way beyond the ideologies that

lead to disastrous policy decisions, steadfastly guided by scientific evidence

as well as what it means to be human. Disciplined, bold, simple, and 

profound. A work of great human insight”

– Horst Loeblich, Board Chair

COVID Sanity

“Mr. McTavish  has been a rare voice of rationality during the epidemic,

providing important data and policy evaluations to assist the public in

avoiding fear and understanding the balance of harms and benefits from

efforts to suppress COVID.”

– Kevin Roche,

There are sane, compassionate, and effective ways to deal with a pandemic,

but the US reaction to the coronavirus epidemic of 2020 was none of 

these things. Hugh McTavish’s COVID Lockdown Insanity is a solid and well-

documented exploration of one of the most serious public policy failures 

of our time.

– John Michael Greer, author of The Long Descent and The 

Wealth of Nature