Lockdown Redux

There is little evidence that lockdowns reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus. We learned that in the year 2020. Hindsight, as the saying goes, isn't 2020 after all. But there is plenty of evidence that lockdowns destroy economies and the livelihoods of the people it's imposed on. The people issuing lockdown orders, mostly presidents, prime ministers, and governors, don't suffer the effects of their edicts. Their insulated lives continue mostly undisturbed. In Europe, French President Emanuel Macron tested positive as did UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to name a few. Both men recovered and know first hand what the virus is and isn't. Yet they still find it acceptable to impose lockdowns on their respective populations in spite of the great damage they cause and their minimal, if any, risk reduction benefits.

Perhaps they and many other world leaders never read "The Great Barrington Declaration", which among other things, advocates protecting the most vulnerable while allowing society to function normally. Authored by three highly respected professors of epidemiology, it was shamefully censored from public view on Google, Facebook, and other left-leaning social media sites for not fitting into their political narrative. Public outcry against censorship reversed that. https://gbdeclaration.org/

What drives lockdowns is Covid-19 case numbers within the population. For over a year, news media outlets have reported a running tally of new cases, yet rarely provide specifics. Particularly misleading is that a person who tests positive is added to the case count regardless of whether that person experienced any symptoms or illness. Would a person that tests positive for influenza that doesn't become ill be considered as having a case of the flu? Likely not.

The other misleading driver is the reluctance to acknowledge that most fatalities come from people of poor health and high morbidity. Sadly, with such individuals any number of illnesses such as a bad cold or the common flu would have been enough to take them. But now Covid-19 gets the blame whether or not it was the cause of mortality, a secondary contributing factor, or even relevant at all.

A year ago little was known of the novel corona virus and testing for it wasn't widely available. Imposing lockdowns seemed like a reasonable strategy in the short run until more was known about the virus. Now that Covid-19 testing sites have sprung up across the globe, many more people are getting tested. Whatever the level of Covid-19 exposure, if you test more people you'll get more results, both negative and positive. But typically only positive test results make the news, which leads people to think that Covid-19 infections are rapidly rising. This may not be the case, so to speak, but these misleading statistics provide leaders the justification to impose lockdowns nonetheless.

The latest lockdown on Curacao allows most shops to remain open for business, which is good. Potential spreading events such as parties and nightclubs where close contact is the norm are understandably prohibited. Conversely, there is little evidence to support beaches as virus spreading locations. People should be trusted to adhere to social distancing and even wear a mask in return for a day at the beach.

The Plachi di Dia (plate of the day) policy is good for reducing traffic congestion, but little else. In reality, this policy might do more harm than good by keeping more people indoors, especially for large households. The worst policy of all is the closing of schools, as there have been ample studies indicating children are the least likely of the population to be at risk.

Today much more is known about Covid-19 and there are several vaccines available, all of which are reported to be effective against the virus and its variants. Yet these variants are the new reason cited by some leaders for a return to draconian lockdown measures, although perhaps less stringent than last year's paralysis. With over a year of this, has nothing been learned? Perhaps we should finally realize lockdowns do more harm than good and only hurt the people they are intended to protect.




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