The Melbourne Cricket Ground in August, 2020 (Image: AP/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)

"Numbers show lockdown is a no-brainer” screamed a Nine headline last week. Meanwhile Crikey last month published an article by health economist Luke Slawomirki suggesting that the “light-touch [lockdown] approach has sacrificed a lot for little economic benefit”.

Let’s take a closer look at these findings.

As a cautionary note, any calculation of the economic benefits of a lockdown are fraught with sweeping assumptions, but we’ll use the best real data we can find and be very conservative with our assumptions.