Benefits of lockdown are “illusory”: researchers

Take-down of the Flaxman et al. (2020) claim that interventions saved lives. 

The illusory effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in Europe

Flaxman et al. (Nature, 8 June 2020, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2405-7, 2020) infer that non-pharmaceutical interventions conducted by several European countries considerably reduced effective reproduction numbers and saved millions of lives. We show that their method is ill-conceived and that the alleged effects are artefacts. Moreover, we demonstrate that the United Kingdom’s lockdown was both superfluous and ineffective.

https://advance.sagepub.com/articles/Comment_on_Flaxman_et_al_2020_The_illusory_effects_of_non-pharmaceutical_interventions_on_COVID-19_in_Europe/12479987

How did it come to this (Covid over-reaction)?

Dr. Carlo Caduff, King’s College of London, delivers a thoughtful critique of the social, political and ideaological drivers behind the panicked response, and the almost deliberate ignoring of facts.

We urgently need to look beyond the virus if we want to understand the real seriousness of what is happening today. How did we end up in this strange space of thinking, acting and feeling that has normalized extremes and that is based on the assumption that biological life is an absolute value separate from politics? Never has it been more important to insist that another politics of life is possible.

https://evidencenotfear.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Carlo-Caduff-What_Went_Wrong_With_Corona.pdf

Vaccine researchers say sorry: no vaccine in time to make a difference

The implications of this statement by vaccine researchers are profound.

They say that a vaccine for Covid19 won’t be found in time to make a difference to the natural outcome of the pandemic.

So is NZ still planning to wait?

 

It typically takes a minimum of 10 years for a vaccine to complete the three consecutive phases of the clinical research pipeline. This is because of the scope and length of the experiments, the need to critically assess the results at each stage and the mountains of paperwork that are involved.

 

We contend that a safe and effective vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the causative agent of coronavirus disease COVID-19, most likely cannot be made available to the public in time to make a substantial difference to the natural outcome of this pandemic. People often cling to hope even when prospects of success are low. However, this can have negative consequences if that hope is not realized.

 

https://theconversation.com/fast-covid-19-vaccine-timelines-are-unrealistic-and-put-the-integrity-of-scientists-at-risk-139824

Covid19 response may kill more in India than the virus

Mob mentality that feeds hysteria

By Bharat Dogra 

 

The situation is much more serious in developing countries like India where a large percentage of people lead a precarious life even in normal times and hardly have any savings to fall back upon in distress situations like those created by prolonged lockdowns.

“[The] aim should be to protect the risk groups, without endangering the availability of medical care and the health of the whole population, as is unfortunately occurring.” One of the reasons why evidence- based response could not become effective has been because the voice of some very senior scientists like Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, who challenged draconian measures and exaggerated response at an early stage, did not get the desired attention.

Learn to live with virus: NY Times

Around the world, governments that had appeared to tame the coronavirus are adjusting to the reality that the disease is here to stay. But in a shift away from damaging nationwide lockdowns, they are looking for targeted ways to find and stop outbreaks before they become third or fourth waves.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/world/europe/countries-reopening-coronavirus.html

Stanford study reveals why COVID19 forecasts failed

…models failed when they used more speculation and theoretical assumptions and tried to predict long-term outcomes, e.g. using early SIR-based models to predict what would happen in the entire season. However, even forecasting built directly on data alone fared badly. E.g., the IHME failed to yield accurate predictions or accurate estimates of uncertainty. Even for short-term forecasting when the epidemic wave has waned, models presented confusingly diverse predictions with huge uncertainty.

 

…epidemic forecasting continued to thrive, perhaps because vastly erroneous predictions typically lacked serious consequences. Actually, erroneous predictions may have been even useful. A wrong, doomsday prediction may incentivize people towards better personal hygiene. Problems starts when public leaders take (wrong) predictions too seriously, considering them crystal balls without understanding their uncertainty and the assumptions made.

https://forecasters.org/blog/2020/06/14/forecasting-for-covid-19-has-failed/

 

Stanford epidemiologist says ‘no more lockdown’

John PA Ioannidis

Lockdowns were desperate, defendable choices when we knew little about covid-19. But, now that we know more, we should avoid exaggeration.21 We should carefully and gradually remove lockdown measures, with data driven feedback on bed capacity and prevalence/incidence indicators. Otherwise, prolonged lockdowns may become mass suicide.

 

Prolonged lockdowns fuel economic depression, creating mass unemployment. Jobless people may lose health insurance. Entire populations may witness decreased quality of life and mental health.19

 

Underprivileged populations and those in need are hit harder by crises. People at risk of starvation worldwide have already exceeded one billion.20 We are risking increased suicides, domestic violence, and child abuse. Malaise and societal disintegration may also advance, with chaotic consequences such as riots and wars.

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1924

 

Norway officially concludes that its lockdown was not necessary

the Norwegian public health authority has published a report with a striking conclusion: the virus was never spreading as fast as had been feared and was already on the way out when 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…”

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/norway-health-chief-lockdown-was-not-needed-to-tame-covid

10 Reasons to end lockdown

Dr John Lee, Retired Professor of Pathology, writing in The Spectator:

Even if one could understand why lockdown was imposed, it very rapidly became apparent that it had not been thought through. Not in terms of the wider effects on society (which have yet to be counted) and not even in terms of the ways that the virus itself might behave.

 

…at the start, there was hardly any evidence. Everyone was guessing. Now we have a world of evidence, from around the globe, and the case for starting to reverse lockdown is compelling.

 

…Covid is not, in fact, an extraordinarily lethal pathogen, just a nasty one, similar to many others.

 

…our new normal should look very much like our old, perhaps with the addition of some social responsibility in the face of respiratory illness. It is the only way for us to live in the world.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/ten-reasons-to-end-the-lockdown-now

 

Covid immunity passports: yeah, nah

COVID-19 immunity passports and vaccination certificates: scientific, equitable, and legal challenges

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31034-5/fulltext