The Problem with “Lockdowns”

Why Lockdowns are a BAD Strategy to Try to Curb the Spread of the Coronavirus

  • Jan 2021 Study Shows Lockdowns May Have No Clear Benefit vs Other Voluntary Measures

  • The Don’t Work to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19

  • The World Health Organization has Condemned Lockdowns as a Strategy for Slowing the Spread
  • There are Alternatives to Lockdowns that Work Better

See below for the details:

COVID Lockdowns May Have No Clear Benefit vs Other Voluntary Measures, International Study Shows

Jan 14th – A new study just published found that mandatory lockdown orders early in the pandemic may not provide significantly more benefits to slowing the spread of the disease than other voluntary measures, such as social distancing or travel reduction.

The peer reviewed study was published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation on January 5, and analyzed coronavirus case growth in 10 countries in early 2020.

The study compared cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. – all countries that implemented mandatory lockdown orders and business closures – to South Korea and Sweden, which instituted less severe, voluntary responses. It aimed to analyze the effect that less restrictive or more restrictive measures had on changing individual behavior and curbing the transmission of the virus.

Link to the study:

Summary of findings:

  • In summary, we fail to find strong evidence supporting a role for more restrictive NPIs in the control of COVID in early 2020.
  • We do not question the role of all public health interventions, or of coordinated communications about the epidemic, but we fail to find an additional benefit of stay‐at‐home orders and business closures.
  • The data cannot fully exclude the possibility of some benefits. However, even if they exist, these benefits may not match the numerous harms of these aggressive measures.
  • More targeted public health interventions that more effectively reduce transmissions may be important for future epidemic control without the harms of highly restrictive measures.

“While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less‐restrictive interventions.”

>> Read the full article:

Lockdowns: They Don’t Work to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19

Dec. 29, 2020 – – A number of high-profile figures in both Europe and North America have voiced concern over the long-term effects of the lockdowns whilst expressing scepticism over any benefits from the impositions.

One such voice is Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens. From the very beginning of the COVID “pandemic”, Hitchens has drawn attention to the lack of evidence supporting the widespread claim that lockdowns save lives. He points out instead that the supposed “cure” to be found in the restrictions is actually worse than the poison itself. 

“As I have pointed out from the start, there is no evidence that the repeated throttling of our society and economy has saved a single life. Plenty of research confirms this,” Hitchens said in reference to an entry in the journal Public Health. The article notes that the “[s]tringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate.” 

“By contrast,” Hitchens says, “we do know that it has cost many lives, through postponed operations and lost opportunities to treat undiagnosed sicknesses, and through the misery, mental illness and despair caused by the crushing of normal human society and the mass destruction of jobs and livelihoods.” The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself.


The WHO’s Position on Lockdowns

What is WHO’s position on ‘lockdowns’ as a way of fighting COVID-19?

According to an article from the WHO, dated 15 Oct 2020, large scale physical distancing measures and movement restrictions, often referred to as ‘lockdowns’, can slow COVID‑19 transmission by limiting contact between people.

However, these measures can have a profound negative impact on individuals, communities, and societies by bringing social and economic life to a near stop. Such measures disproportionately affect disadvantaged groups, including people in poverty, migrants, internally displaced people and refugees, who most often live in overcrowded and under resourced settings, and depend on daily labor for subsistence.

WHO recognizes that at certain points, some countries have had no choice but to issue stay-at-home orders and other measures, to buy time. Governments must make the most of the extra time granted by ‘lockdown’ measures by

  • doing all they can to build their capacities to detect, isolate, test and care for all cases;
  • trace and quarantine all contacts;
  • engage, empower and enable populations to drive the societal response and more.

The article ends by stating that countries should use targeted interventions where and when needed, based on the local situation. Large scale, blanket lockdowns should be avoid at all costs, due to the severe social and economic hardships introduced, and should only be used when there is no other option.  


Alternative Strategies to a Blanket Lockdown

An article from the Reason Foundation states that “While some studies find lockdowns effective in slowing transmission of the virus, several studies suggest that much if not all the reduction in transmission would have occurred anyway due to voluntary measures.

Meanwhile, the lockdowns themselves have had devastating effects on economies, societies and even human health. Something needed to be done, but lockdowns are a blunt instrument, affecting all activities and locations equally even when the risks of different activities, businesses, workplaces, and locations are also quite different. The costs of not looking for more-refined ways to reduce risks from the virus were enormous.

The measures discussed here offer an adaptable range of options, recognizing that no single approach will work best everywhere.

  • Individuals and businesses in rural areas may not need to use as many tools to reduce risk as those in urban areas.
  • Communities with more vulnerable populations, such as retirees, may need to take different measures from college towns.

As governments consider policies to prevent a second wave, more data-driven approaches based on test and trace are desirable. 

Full Brief — COVID-19 Lockdown Problems and Alternative Strategies to Reopening the Economy

This brief is part of a series: Strategies for Combating and Recovering From the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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