If social distancing made things better, we would expect a positive correlation on both of these graphs – in other words, earlier social distancing would lead to both earlier flattening of the curve and lower total deaths, meaning these points would all sit close to a diagonal line sloping up from left to right. Instead what we see is very little correlation at all, and what there is is negative. So early social distancing is either doing nothing or making things worse. This is likely because the virus spreads mainly in hospitals, care homes and private homes rather than in the community, so social distancing of the wider population beyond a basic minimum (washing hands, self-isolating when ill, not getting too close, and so on) has little impact.
- COVID-19 is about as deadly as flu, averaging between 0.1 and 0.8 per cent death rate.
- The general population under 65 with no pre-existing conditions are more likely to die in a road accident.
- Infections peaked and began to decline in many places including the UK before lockdown began
- Social distancing shows no consistent relationship to the slowdown of infections in cities around the world?
- Studies show that people confined to their homes may be as at much risk as those out and about.
- ‘R number’ rise happened in the middle of lockdown and probably linked to ongoing spreading in hospitals and care homes.
- Shutting down the world economy may result in of the order of 1,157,000 additional child deaths and 56,700 additional maternal deaths in low- and middle-income countries.
- Former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption: “The lockdown is now all about protecting politicians’ backs. They are not wicked men, just timid ones, terrified of being blamed for deaths on their watch. But it is a wicked thing that they are doing.”