The present coronavirus crisis caused a major worldwide disruption which has not been experienced for decades. The lockdown-based crisis management was implemented by nearly all the countries, and studies confirming lockdown effectiveness can be found alongside the studies questioning it. In this work, we performed a narrative review of the works studying the above effectiveness, as well as the historic experience of previous pandemics and risk-benefit analysis based on the connection of health and wealth. Our aim was to learn lessons and analyze ways to improve the management of similar events in the future. The comparative analysis of different countries showed that the assumption of lockdowns’ effectiveness cannot be supported by evidence—neither regarding the present COVID-19 pandemic, nor regarding the 1918–1920 Spanish Flu and other less-severe pandemics in the past. The price tag of lockdowns in terms of public health is high: by using the known connection between health and wealth, we estimate that lockdowns may claim 20 times more life years than they save. It is suggested therefore that a thorough cost-benefit analysis should be performed before imposing any lockdown for either COVID-19 or any future pandemic.
While our understanding of viral transmission mechanisms leads to the assumption that lockdowns may be an effective pandemic management tool, this assumption cannot be supported by the evidence-based analysis of the present COVID-19 pandemic, as well as of the 1918–1920 H1N1 influenza type-A pandemic (the Spanish Flu) and numerous less-severe pandemics in the past. The price tag of lockdowns in terms of public health is high: we estimate that, even if somewhat effective in preventing death caused by infection, lockdowns may claim 20 times more life than they save. It is suggested therefore that a thorough cost-benefit analysis should be performed before imposing any lockdown in the future.
Most believed that COVID was a real illness, with a defined risk profile. Most were not opposed to vaccination as medical practice in itself, but did express doubts about the rapid development, deployment and side effect profiles of the current COVID vaccines. Many participants were not personally affected by the lockdown measures, but some recounted ostracism from activities due to their choices around masking and vaccination.
The main challenge for most was managing relationships with others that had a differing view of the situation, e.g. friends and family. As a result of the past two years, participants reported increased scepticism and a greater suspicion towards the state, medical profession and vaccination as a medical practice. Some reported increased mistrust in other members of the public, borne out of a sense of disbelief at the ease with which they viewed most people as acquiescing to a state of affairs that participants regarded as highly abnormal.
“We knew from February , never mind March, that the lockdown would not solve the problem. It would simply delay it,” Woolhouse says, a note of enduring disbelief in his voice. And yet in government, “there was no attention paid to that rather obvious drawback of the strategy”.
Instead, lockdowns – which “only made sense in the context of eradication” – became the tool of choice to control Covid. The die was cast in China, which instituted ultra-strict measures and, unforgivably in Woolhouse’s book, was praised by the World Health Organisation for its “bold approach”. “The WHO,” he suggests, “got the biggest calls completely wrong in 2020. The early global response to the pandemic was woefully inadequate.”
The Government last month signalled its intention to scrap the legal requirement for infected people to self-isolate on March 24, and yesterday it was claimed that it will stop releasing daily Covid updates in April.
…The truth is that the advent of the highly infectious (although markedly milder) Omicron variant has changed everything.
Last week the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) – the proportion of infected people who died of Covid – was hovering at around 0.95 per cent.
That is way below the 15 per cent recorded when the death rate was at its peak in May 2020 when testing was minimal.
And since Monday, when the Office For National Statistics included ‘reinfections’ – people who have contracted the virus more than once – on its daily Covid dashboard for the first time, the CFR has plummeted still further.
With the addition of hundreds of thousands of cases to the weekly total, by Tuesday the CFR had fallen to 0.19 per cent, a percentage akin to that of flu, an illness which currently has a fatality rate of between 0.1 and 0.2 per cent.
The average age of death from Covid, meanwhile, remains at the pre-pandemic 82, with data from the US showing that 75 per cent of people who die with Covid have no fewer than four underlying serious conditions.
The Government’s “grossly unethical” uses of its “nudge unit” inflated fear among the public during the Covid pandemic, psychologists have said – prompting MPs to launch an investigation into scare adverts.
A group of psychologists have written to Parliament’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, warning that a team of civil servants dedicated to “nudging” public behaviour during the pandemic were unaccountable and unethical.
The letter’s 40 professional signatories – led by Dr Gary Sidley, a retired clinical psychologist – said they opposed the use of dramatic adverts, which included slogans such as: “If you go out you can spread it, people will die.”
7.00 We never vaccinate an entire population
21.00 Vaccination does not stop transmission
30.00 21000 died VAERS data
35.00 BBC, CNN YouTube etc is suppressing information
46.00 The way out is to stop testing
50.00 masks don’t work
53.00 Effective Home Treatments
The impact of lockdowns on young children “will last for years”, according to experts, who are warning that delays in communication and social skills will affect learning in the future.
Social and emotional development, interaction with their peers, behaviour, self-regulation, and anxiety have all been highlighted as areas of concern by Sara Bonetti, head of early years development at the Education Policy Institute.
The Prime Minister has talked of giving Whitty a knighthood — but after that reckless and irresponsible performance, the Chief Medical Officer deserves the boot.
At a stroke, he inflicted spectacular damage on our economy, particularly the hospitality sector which makes over a quarter of its profits in this period, and which has already taken a termendous battering during the pandemic.
…The irony is that if the most lurid forecasts of the lockdown addicts are realised, with the pandemic reaching every household, then all those oppressive measures they cherish most — such as social distancing, bans on large gatherings, venue closures and vaccine passports — will be largely useless.
…And in fact it would be worse than meaningless: it would be counter-productive. Lockdown directly undermines the fight against the virus by preventing the spread of naturally acquired Covid immunity in the population.
The boss of the drugmaker Moderna has warned that Covid-19 vaccines are unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron variant in comments that have added to uncertainty about its impact and unsettled financial markets.
“There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level we had with Delta,” Stéphane Bancel told the Financial Times. “I think it’s going to be a material drop. I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to … are like, ‘this is not going to be good’.”
Face masks and other social distancing measures may in fact impede on children’s development, a new study executed by Brown University has found
The probe analyzed the cognitive development of the youngsters through infancy, childhood and adolescence
In the study, researchers first analyzed 1,070 assessments administered on 605 kids prior to March 2020, when COVID lockdowns and masking began
A further 154 assessments from 118 kids administered between March 2020 and June 2021, during the height of the pandemic, were then carried out
Thirty-nine children born in 2018 and 2019 were analyzed over the course of the pandemic, into 2021.
The report found that there was a 23 per cent drop in scores measuring kids’ intelligence quotients since the start of the pandemic
The study also found similar dips in the same span in regards to developing children’s ability to communicate, both verbally and though subtle facial cues
And even as tech and media elites sing the praises of luxury Gnosticism for the rest of us, they’re reserving unconstrained, in-person human interaction as a privilege for themselves. Whether this emerging political order comes dressed as civil rights, TV entertainment or public health, we should see it for what it is: an assault on the humanity of all but the aristocracy.
Since the first reports of novel coronavirus in the 2020, public health organizations have advocated preventative policies to limit virus, including stay-at-home orders that closed businesses, daycares, schools, playgrounds, and limited child learning and typical activities. Fear of infection and possible employment loss has placed stress on parents; while parents who could work from home faced challenges in both working and providing full-time attentive childcare. For pregnant individuals, fear of attending prenatal visits also increased maternal stress, anxiety, and depression. Not surprising, there has been concern over how these factors, as well as missed educational opportunities and reduced interaction, stimulation, and creative play with other children might impact child neurodevelopment. Leveraging a large on-going longitudinal study of child neurodevelopment, we examined general childhood cognitive scores in 2020 and 2021 vs. the preceding decade, 2011-2019. We find that children born during the pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance compared to children born pre-pandemic. Moreover, we find that males and children in lower socioeconomic families have been most affected. Results highlight that even in the absence of direct SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 illness, the environmental changes associated COVID-19 pandemic is significantly and negatively affecting infant and child development.
Epidemiologist and public health professor Michael Baker used the metaphor of forest brushfires: if a year or two have passed without fire, there is more fuel on the ground to feed the flames. When a fire finally comes, it burns much more fiercely. “What we’re seeing now is we’ve accumulated a whole lot of susceptible children that have missed out on exposure – so now they’re seeing it for the first time,” Baker said.
…“The lack of immune stimulation… induced an “immunity debt” which could have negative consequences when the pandemic is under control and [public health intervientions] are lifted,” the doctors wrote. “The longer these periods of ‘viral or bacterial low-exposure’ are, the greater the likelihood of future epidemics.”
The Associated Press recently ran a story they said debunked the dissenting Covid concerns of pathologist, Dr. Roger Hodkinson. In their article titled, “Pathologist falsely claims COVID-19 is a hoax, no worse than the flu,” they misrepresented several of Dr. Hodkinson’s statements. The also wrote specifically saying they were planning to debunk him, not understand what he meant. Dr Hodkinson is a medical specialist in pathology and graduate of Cambridge University, UK. He is a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He was previously the President of the Alberta Society of Laboratory Physicians, an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta, and CEO of a large community based medical laboratory with a full menu of testing for infectious disease and virology. He is currently the Chairman of an American biotechnology company active in DNA sequencing.
Covid testing in schools is hugely disruptive and should be suspended, experts have said, as it emerged that up to 60 per cent of “positive” tests a week are coming back negative when checked.
Under plans to keep schools open, more than 50 million lateral flow tests have been carried out on youngsters, leading to thousands of pupils and their social bubbles being forced to self-isolate for 10 days.
Social distancing and wearing face masks should stay forever, a Communist-supporting SAGE scientist has claimed.
Professor Susan Michie, of University College London, said she thinks the draconian restrictions should become part of people’s every day routine.
SARS-Cov-2 is a more stable virus than influenza. Trillions of replications have thrown up a handful of variants of concern, clustering around a small set of mutations. These variants are worth monitoring but the vaccines effectively prevent them causing serious illness. There is a theoretical risk of a more dangerous variant but it does not seem more likely than a shift in the influenza virus. If it were to occur, we could now manage it with short-term measures and rapid vaccine modification.
…Vaccination protects the vaccinated. It helps protect others but it means that we take no greater risk in the autumn of 2020 than in the autumn of 2019. Interventions should be proportionate to that – which means that most cannot be justified.
Some are worth retaining, like improved hygiene in public places or greater readiness to stay at home with respiratory symptoms. It is probably a good idea to invest further in the search for effective antiviral therapies. Promoting better population health through diet and exercise is always a good thing. But it is time for a bonfire of face masks and the despatch of lateral flow tests to landfill.
For a virus that spreads via airborne transmission of aerosols—something scientists have known for many months, though it took the World Health Organization until the end of April to update its guidance—these plastic barriers between diners were always a confusing addition. Think of the particles that disperse through the air when someone smokes a cigarette. A plastic barrier wouldn’t prevent you from smelling that cigarette and breathing some of that same air.
Laura Dodsworth talks about her must-read book State of Fear – about the psychological campaign behind Britain’s Covid tyranny
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Details on how to purchase the book can be found at Laura Dodsworth’s website.
Pilot schemes for nine of the worst-hit areas will see councils offer to house the contacts of positive virus cases in order to stop transmission in overcrowded households.