The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to determine the effect of lockdowns, also referred to as ‘Covid restrictions’, ‘social distancing measures’ etc., on COVID-19 mortality based on available empirical evidence. We define lockdowns as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI). We employ a systematic search and screening procedure in which 19,646 studies are identified that could potentially address the purpose of our study. After three levels of screening, 32 studies qualified. Of those, estimates from 22 studies could be converted to standardised measures for inclusion in the metaanalysis.
Meanwhile, evidence is mounting of the long-term consequences of quarantining the country during lockdown. There were warnings at the time that keeping people under a form of house arrest would lead to rising loneliness, mental illness, domestic abuse and childhood obesity; a growing school attainment divide between pupils from rich and poor homes; an increase in hospital waiting lists and a rise in undiagnosed cases of cancer. All of which have come to pass. Only last month, for example, a report by the House of Commons Library expressed concern that the estimated rate of absence from school in the current academic year was 7.8% – compared with 4.8% in 2019-20.
Academic freedom at Stanford is clearly dying. It cannot survive if the administration fails to create an environment where good-faith discussions can occur outside of a framework of ideological rigidity and the false certainties that ideologues—and governments—wish to impose on us. Stanford missed the opportunity to sponsor COVID policy forums and it deplatformed dissenting voices. Several prominent faculty exploited this environment, engaging in actions that directly violated basic academic norms.
Norway, Sweden and Iceland had the lowest relative cumulative excess mortality.
- Between the week ending 3 January 2020 (week 1 2020) and the week ending 1 July 2022 (week 26 2022), the UK’s relative cumulative excess mortality was 3.1% above the average of 2015 to 2019; this was over a third less than the cumulative excess mortality in the week ending 18 June 2021 (week 24 2021; the period of the previous article), at 5.8%.
- The UK had the 16th highest relative cumulative excess mortality of the 33 countries analysed (UK, its constituent countries, and 28 European countries), and 15th highest of 28 countries when constituent countries are removed.
- The majority of European countries analysed (25 of 33) experienced above average relative cumulative excess mortality for the whole period, with eight countries showing relative cumulative mortality below average.
- Bulgaria had the highest relative cumulative excess mortality at 18.2% above average, followed by Poland (13.3% above average) and Romania (12.2% above average); Norway had the lowest with 4.1% below average, followed by Sweden (4.0% below average) and Iceland (3.9% below average).
- The majority of European countries (22 of 33) had higher relative cumulative excess mortality in those aged 65 years and over compared with those aged under 65 years.
- The UK had the fifth highest relative cumulative excess mortality rate in those aged under 65 years (8.3% above average); in those aged 65 years and over in the UK, the cumulative excess mortality rate was the 19th highest (2.2% above average).
- Overall, 19 of the 33 European countries had a decrease in their relative cumulative excess mortality rates since the last release (week ending 18 June 2021), including the UK and constituent countries; the largest decrease was in Czechia (5.4 percentage points lower), whereas the largest increase was in Cyprus (5.4 percentage points higher).
Following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries faced short-term fertility declines in 2020 and 2021, a development which did not materialize in Scandinavian and German-speaking countries. However, more recent birth statistics show a steep fertility decline in the aftermath of the pandemic in 2022. We aim to provide data on the unexpected birth decline in 2022 in Germany and Sweden and relate these data to pandemic-related contextual developments which could have influenced the post-pandemic fertility development. We rely on monthly birth statistics and present seasonally adjusted monthly Total Fertility Rates (TFR) for Germany and Sweden. We relate the nine-months lagged fertility rates to contextual developments regarding COVID-19 mortality and morbidity, unemployment rates, and COVID-19 vaccinations.
The seasonally adjusted monthly TFR of Germany dropped from 1.5-1.6 in 2021 to 1.3-1.4 in 2022, a decline of about 14 %. In Sweden, the corresponding TFR dropped from about 1.7 in 2021 to 1.5-1.6 in 2022, a decline of almost 10 %. There is no association of the fertility trends with changes in unemployment, infection rates, or COVID-19 deaths. However, there is a strong association between the onset of vaccination programmes and the fertility decline nine months after of this onset. The fertility decline in the first months of 2022 in Germany and Sweden is remarkable. Common explanations of fertility change during the pandemic do not apply in its aftermath. The association between the onset of mass vaccinations and subsequent fertility decline indicates that people adjusted their behaviour to get vaccinated before becoming pregnant, as societies were opening up with post-pandemic life conditions. Our study provides novel information on fertility declines in countries previously not affected by any COVID-19 baby bust. We provide a first appraisal of the COVID-19-fertility nexus in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.
On the contrary, over 30,000 Americans appear to have been killed by mechanical ventilators or other forms of medical iatrogenesis throughout April 2020, primarily in the area around New York.
This result is not altogether surprising, as subsequent studies revealed a 97.2% mortality rate among those over age 65 who were put on mechanical ventilators in accordance with the initial guidance from the WHO—as opposed to a 26.6% mortality rate among those over age 65 who weren’t put on mechanical ventilators—before a grassroots campaign put a stop to the practice by the beginning of May 2020.
As one doctor later told the Wall Street Journal, “We were intubating sick patients very early. Not for the patients’ benefit, but in order to control the epidemic… That felt awful.”
To put this in perspective, patients over age 65 were more than 26 times as likely to survive if they were not placed on mechanical ventilators.
This is an apples-to-apples, Hungarians-to-Hungarians, same time period comparison! Pretty much the only variable is the extent to which those counties vaccinated their citizens by July 2021, including young people likely to make babies. Again, to remind you: the vaccination rates are a snapshot for July 13, 2021. You can add 9 months to July 2021, which gives you April 2022. Thus, you can see why birth rates in Q1 2022 changed: because of Covid vaccination.
The result? The more vaccination, the greater the declines in the birth rates.
The risk of myocarditis in this large cohort study was highest in young males after the second SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dose, and this risk should be balanced against the benefits of protecting against severe COVID-19 disease.
Britain’s Covid pandemic death rate is much better than previously thought compared with the rest of the world, a Lancet study has shown.
Research by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in the US calculated the excess death rates for 191 countries and territories and found that the UK is now roughly in the middle at 102.
Previously, countries have been judged by death rates alone, which would place Britain at 168 – the 24th worst in the world. Critics of the Government’s pandemic response have often cited this figure as justification for calling for tougher Covid restrictions.
But Britain was found to have an excess death rate of 126.8 per 100,000, very close to France – which had 124.4 per 100,000 – and Germany, with 120.5 per 100,000.
Sweden, which did not lock down, was found to have one of the best excess death rates in Europe, with 91.2 per 100,000. Only Finland, Luxembourg and Iceland fared better.
Sweden made the correct decision by avoiding a full Covid-19 lockdown and relying on their population’s common sense, a commission into the handling of the virus has claimed.
Despite praising keeping the country open, the commission said some restrictions should have been introduced earlier.
Swedish experts said repeated lockdowns in other European countries were neither ‘necessary’ nor ‘defensible’.
Ivor Cummins gives an excellent talk on the history of COVID-19 to Irish Nurses and Mother’s Group.
Iceland on Friday suspended the Moderna anti-COVID vaccine, citing the slight increased risks of cardiac inflammation, going further than its Nordic neighbours which simply limited use of the jabs.
…This decision owed to “the increased incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination with the Moderna vaccine, as well as with vaccination using Pfizer/BioNTech,” the chief epidemiologist said in a statement.
While citizens focus on the latest issue the government directs our attention to, many of us have lost sight of the big picture and grown accustomed to severe limitations on our rights like the proverbial frogs in hot water. As a number of countries now seek to focus the discussion on further coercive measures and even mandatory vaccination, PANDA is increasingly aware of the elephants in the room, the topics no one is talking about.
It’s amazing how often Sweden still crops up in conversations. It didn’t impose tough lockdown, kept primary schools and core economic activities functioning, issued clear guidelines and relied on voluntary social distancing and personal hygiene practices to manage the crisis. For harsh lockdowns to be justified elsewhere, Sweden had to be discredited. Hence the harsh criticisms of Sweden’s approach last year by the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, CBS News and others.
But with Sweden’s demonstrable success, goalposts have shifted. Every time it’s mentioned as a counter to Europe’s high Covid-toll lockdown countries, the response now is: ‘But their Nordic neighbours did much better. Look at Denmark’. Let’s ‘interrogate’ this argument.
I had no choice but to speak out against lockdowns. As a public-health scientist with decades of experience working on infectious-disease outbreaks, I couldn’t stay silent. Not when basic principles of public health are thrown out of the window. Not when the working class is thrown under the bus. Not when lockdown opponents were thrown to the wolves. There was never a scientific consensus for lockdowns. That balloon had to be popped.
…Ultimately, lockdowns protected young low-risk professionals working from home – journalists, lawyers, scientists, and bankers – on the backs of children, the working class and the poor.
Diagnostic pathologist Dr Clare Craig: “We have really good evidence that lockdowns don’t work which people find very difficult to accept”.
- Airborne viruses spread and you can’t control the spread, which is why making people hide away doesn’t have the impact that you think it has.
- The data demonstrates lockdowns don’t work and have possibly made things worse.
- We now have examples other than Sweden, such as US states like Florida and Texas, that demonstrate that lifting restrictions make no difference to the virus.
- Florida and Texas prove that the lockdown advice was wrong.
Meanwhile, the disconnect between what ordinary people can see with their own eyes and the Covid regulations only confirms the idea that Government pronouncements are no longer to be taken literally. The rules are starting to seem symbolic and removed, subject to broad reinterpretation. While the polling shows that people are content with the official pace of reopening, the mobility data (what people are actually doing) shows they have been quietly reopening their lives since January. Apple data now shows use of public transport in London up to nearly 70 per cent of normal from nearer 30 per cent at the start of this lockdown.
While we are reducing the spread of the virus, we are simultaneously encouraging the virus to become more virulent and more transmissible, thus negating any positive effect on the overall mortality burden and diminishing the returns of our interventions? Meanwhile, these interventions are destroying livelihoods, demolishing our culture, threatening our democracy and, by the government’s own admission, putting thousands of lives in danger.
Amid the dire Covid warnings, one crucial fact has been largely ignored: Cases are down 77% over the past six weeks. If a medication slashed cases by 77%, we’d call it a miracle pill. Why is the number of cases plummeting much faster than experts predicted?
In large part because natural immunity from prior infection is far more common than can be measured by testing. Testing has been capturing only from 10% to 25% of infections, depending on when during the pandemic someone got the virus. Applying a time-weighted case capture average of 1 in 6.5 to the cumulative 28 million confirmed cases would mean about 55% of Americans have natural immunity.
…explained only by natural immunity. Behavior didn’t suddenly improve over the holidays; Americans traveled more over Christmas than they had since March. Vaccines also don’t explain the steep decline in January. Vaccination rates were low and they take weeks to kick in.
Trapped in lockdown between the two extremes of Coronavirus deniers and lockdown orthodoxy, Nye is intrigued by Sweden’s approach: no lockdown, no school closures, no masks. She manages to secure an exclusive interview with Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, whose steely resolve not to buckle under world mainstream media pressure means – among other things, tango dancing is allowed in Stockholm!
Claudia Nye is a BAFTA nominated filmmaker. Brought back to documentaries for the sake of the future of her children, Nye travels from UK to Sweden to learn about their unique Covid-19 strategy.
She is also a qualified Relationship Counsellor, which she’s been practicing over the past ten years. She travelled to Stockholm with photo-journalist Sean Spencer and together they made this documentary