A large literature has documented the high global mortality and mental health burden associated with the current Covid-19 pandemic. In this paper, we combine newly collected data on subjective reductions in the quality of life with the latest data on Covid-19 restrictions to quantify the total number of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) lost due to government imposed restrictions globally. Our estimates suggest a total loss of 2980 (95% 2764, 3198) million QALYs as of September 6th 2021, with the highest burden absolute burden in lower and upper middle income countries. QALY losses appear to be particularly large for closures of schools and daycares as well as restaurants and bars, and seem relatively small for wearing masks in public and closure of fitness facilities.
Competing Interest Statement
The authors have declared no competing interest.
We received no external funding for any aspect of the submitted work.
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Ethical clearance for this study was obtained from the Ethics Committee Northwest and Central Switzerland (EKNZ). Due to the absence of direct contact with human subjects and lack of identifiable data the study was classified as non-human subjects research (EKNZ Req. 2021.00616).
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Paper in collection COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv