When the coronavirus first hit U.S. soil back in March 2020, public health “experts” promised that their draconian lockdowns and restrictions would help us “flatten the curve” and return things to normal.
Yet, here we are…almost two years later…and things are WORSE than ever!
Positive cases are skyrocketing. Hospitals are overloaded. Testing is a mess. People are more depressed and anxious than ever before. And much-needed screenings and treatments for serious conditions like cancer and heart disease are being put off.
And now, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) just announced yet another shocking and unintended consequence…
Homicides reach record levels during the pandemic
As I first reported early last year, the country started to see a dramatic increase in homicides during the early months of the pandemic. (Of course, there was homicide data only through September 2020 at that point. Yet, even with three months of data left to collect for the year, we already knew we were looking at a record-breaking trend.)
Well, we finally have all the data. And it’s not good.
It turns out, there were more than 21,000 homicides committed in 2020. And that grim total reflects a nearly 30 percent increase from the year before, making it the biggest-ever, one-year increase in homicides since the FBI started collecting national crime statistics in 1960!
Plus, in urban areas, with populations over 250,000, murders increased more than 35 percent. And even in smaller cities, with populations less than 250,000, these tragic events increased by 25 percent.
Worst of all, when you really start to dig into the data, it looks like the true total is probably much, much higher. Here’s why…
This data comes from the FBI’s annual “Uniform Crime Report.” But it’s far from a complete total.
In fact, about 15 percent of local law enforcement agencies still haven’t reported their homicide data to the FBI. And as of this writing, even some big cities, like New York, Chicago and New Orleans, have yet to report their totals. So, that total of 21,000 murders in America in 2020, as scary as it sounds, is probably far WORSE, in reality.
Five clear reasons for a spike in murders
While the government public health bureaucrats continue to wring their hands and wonder what caused these staggering statistics, it’s clear to me as a former Florida State Medical Examiner and forensic pathologist that the jump in murders is another unforeseen consequence of the government’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic.
As I see it, there are five major factors contributing to such a huge spike in homicides across the country in 2020…
1.) Increases in domestic strife. The vast majority of homicides are “domestic”—meaning the victim and the assailant knew each other well, as in a husband and wife. (That’s why it’s much harder to solve serial killer cases, because the victim did not know the suspect.)
Sadly, when the government requires people to remain cooped up together for months on end, unable to leave the house for work or social gatherings, it vastly increases the potential for domestic confrontations, which can sometimes lead to violence and homicide.
2.) Increases in excessive alcohol and drug use. There is also a strong link among excessive alcohol and drug use, violence, and homicide. Indeed, in the typical homicide, forensic post-mortem investigations show that murderers (and their victims) often have dangerous levels of alcohol and/or drugs in their systems. And we know the lockdowns and social isolation during the pandemic panic created circumstances for dangerous and excessive use of alcohol and drugs.
3.) Increases in isolation. During the pandemic, the continued lockdowns and disruptions to normal life left people (especially older adults) feeling isolated, anxious, and confined for weeks and months on end.
And these feelings of psychological distress can trigger violence in some people. Especially if they begin taking an antidepressant or psychotropic drug.
4.) Increases in financial stress. Some of the increases in homicides may also relate to the effects of income and job losses due to the lockdowns. In fact, early data show that murder rates rose when financial woes spiked—including during the early stages of the pandemic, after the first round of layoffs…and again, during early summer and fall, when financial assistance ran out.
5.) National and widespread social unrest. As we all witnessed on the national news, the entire country grappled with widespread social unrest during 2020 and 2021. And that led to violent and, perhaps, unexpected behaviors.
How to move forward personally…and as a nation
In my view, there are a few simple solutions to contain these issues. First of all, everyone should strive to spend some time employing therapeutic, mind-body approaches like acupuncture, massage, and yoga. In addition, you can increase the time you spend in Nature, find new ways to safely connect to people, take up a new hobby, or adopt a new pet.
In the end, you have many safe, effective, natural options for lowering stress and anxiety without resorting to violence or substance abuse. You can learn all about them in my book, Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain: Keys to Treatment Based on Your Emotional Type.
You can also learn about which non-drug treatments will work best for you or a loved one by taking this simple quiz.