‘Perfect storm’ for suicide as death toll surges past COVID

By WND Staff

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

Some scientists warned early in the coronavirus pandemic that economic lockdowns could have serious mental health repercussions, and it turns out they were right.

A report by the Foundation for Economic Education said the  forced isolation in pandemic quarantines and closures have created the “perfect storm” for suicide.

CBS News, for example, reported far more Japanese people “are dying of suicide, likely exacerbated by the economic and social repercussions of the pandemic, than of the COVID-19 disease itself.”

“While Japan has managed its coronavirus epidemic far better than many nations, keeping deaths below 2,000 nationwide, provisional statistics from the National Police Agency show suicides surged to 2,153 in October alone, marking the fourth straight month of increase.”

The suicide toll is about 600 higher than the same time a year earlier, the network reported. The surge followed an extended time in which suicide deaths had been declining.

“We need to seriously confront reality,” said a spokesman for the government, Katsunobu Kato.

The report said that while figures for the United States had not been released, “anecdotal evidence” suggests they’re similar to Japan’s.

“Prior to the arrival of the coronavirus, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in America, claiming between 42,000 and 49,000 lives annually in recent years,” FEE said. “Though we don’t yet know what 2020’s toll will be, surveys show more than half of Americans say they’ve suffered mentally during the pandemic, which has seen the widespread use of lockdowns and social isolation to combat the virus.”

The report said local jurisdictions are reporting sudden jumps in suicide, including in Dane County, Wisconsin, where suicides among young people have nearly doubled this year.

“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” Dr. Michael deBoisblanc said in CBS News interview. “I mean we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

Researchers already know that social isolation increases the risk for suicide.

“This is one of the many reasons that sweeping interventions that enforce social distancing are so dangerous. Unfortunately, human connection is nothing that can be achieved through phone calls and Zoom meetings, at least not in the same way,” the report said.

FEE pointed out other health impacts of social isolation.

“It’s time that policymakers owned up to an inconvenient truth: their policies cannot save lives, they can only trade lives,” FEE said.

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