Wednesday 27 May 2020

The case against lockdowns must be won so that they never happen again

‘Our assessment now... is that we could possibly have achieved the same effects and avoided some of the unfortunate impacts by not locking down, but by instead keeping open but with infection control measures.’ Camilla Stoltenberg, the head of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health

The Norwegian public health authority has published a report concluding the virus was never spreading as fast as feared and was on the way out before the lockdown was ordered. ‘It looks as if the effective reproduction rate had already dropped to around 1.1 when the most comprehensive measures were implemented on 12 March, and it would not take much to push it down below 1… We have seen in retrospect that the infection was on its way out.’

In other words the lockdown was unnecessary. We know that the virus was also on the way out in Italy and Spain before the lockdown started.
What is essential is that when this is over the world recognises that lockdowns were a tragic mistake that must never happen again. 

Who is to decide this? The World Health Organisation would be the obvious body except they are responsible for this terrible tragedy.

The reason most of the world (but not the Far East outside China) went into lockdown is because the virus started in China, the Chinese Communists ordered a draconian lockdown and the Chinese lapdog, the the WHO, praised China for doing so on January 29th.

China had not imposed a travel ban till January 23rd, after possibly five million people had left Wuhan to spend the Chinese New Year elsewhere. 

According to the Chinese the epidemic was penned into the province of Hubei. This is obviously a lie, but if very large numbers had died across China presumably we'd have heard. Of the foreigners deported from Wuhan, quarantined in their respective countries and then tested only 0.6% tested positive.

What does this mean? That the virus was not nearly as contagious as we thought. It leapt from country to country quickly but did not spread in an exponential fashion, what we feared at the start.

Places that locked down late or ended lockdowns early like Georgia in the USA did not see big numbers of deaths. In Sweden the number of daily deaths is falling and Sweden never had a lockdown. The total number of deaths in Sweden will be no more than five thousand, out of a population of ten million, which proves lockdowns were unnecessary. 

It would be much lower had the Swedes isolated their old people's homes. It would be much lower in New York had the Governor of New York ensured this was done. Yet Governor Cuomo is a hero.That's how politics works.

I quote Toby White in a debate about the lockdown in the American edition of the Spectator (not to be confused with the American Spectator): now looks almost certain that the outbreak in Germany, which Angela Merkel described as the worst crisis to afflict the country since the Second World War, will kill fewer people than flu did in Germany in 2017-18.

One reason COVID-19 has killed far fewer people in Germany than the UK in spite of it having a larger population is because the Germans have been better at protecting elderly people, particularly nursing home residents. That’s also one of the reasons Florida has fewer COVID fatalities per 100,000 than New York.

Unlike Andrew Cuomo, Ron DeSantis did not sanction discharging COVID patients back into care homes without testing them first to make sure they were negative. That practice has been widespread and the blame partly lies with epidemiologists touting apocalyptic computer models showing healthcare systems being overwhelmed. To give just one example, the shonky computer model cooked up by Professor Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College predicted that demand for critical care in Sweden would exceed supply fortyfold if the country didn’t shut down. As you know, Sweden never locked up its citizens and the healthcare system still hasn’t been overwhelmed.
I think your President will turn out to have got more calls right during this crisis than our Prime Minister, including singing the praises of hydroxychloroquine. His gut instincts about the virus — not that bad — and the shutdown — needless act of self-harm — are right.
 Toby Young is right on that last point. 

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