Friday 24 June 2022

Allister Heath in the Daily Telegraph is, of course, right: lockdowns were a terrible mistake, as was fairly clear in 2020

'The World Health Organisation’s seminal study on excess death rates shows that Britain performed far better than previously thought, beating Germany, Italy and America. Our rate of 109 per 100,000 would have put us 15th out of 28 EU member states had we still been part of that dreadful body.

'Yet Sweden, which imposed drastically fewer restrictions, suffered just 56 excess deaths per 100,000, a bit worse than its Nordic neighbours but much better than us. For the vast majority of the world, one would be hard-pressed to find a correlation between the speed and harshness of lockdowns and the excess death rate. (Australia, New Zealand, Japan and China are separate, but in at least three out of four cases their lockdowns came at obscene costs).

'Lockdowns did have some benefits but were, on net, a calamity of historic proportions. Some lives were saved, thanks especially to the speed at which the vaccines were rolled-out. But this came at a disproportionate price that was neither acceptable nor moral. A voluntarist Swedish approach would have been immensely preferable, even had more people died. It is a stain on our national polity that we never conducted a proper cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns at the time, and that the establishment refuses to reassess the question honestly today.'

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