Survey: Life in lockdown for NZ kids

A banal report from the Children’s Commissioner about life in lockdown for NZ kids has a few interesting findings when you dig into it.

By and large, it appears that our kids dealt reasonably resiliently with what the report stupidly claims to be “unprecedented times”

From their survey, half of kids’ parents worked at home and half went out to work – that’s a lot different from the “work from home” message that dominated the perspective of the Government.

Only 8% of kids list the public health messages as a memorable feature of the period.

The absolutely dominant feature and commonality among all kids is that they really missed and disliked the physical separation from their friends, particularly via school. That speaks to a reality of the lives of almost all of us – and something denied by lockdown and social distancing: we simply cannot live for very long separated from each other.

LifeinLockdown-OCC-Nov2020

 

Children in more danger from lockdown than Covid19

“…benefits [of lockdown], however, are overshadowed by the negative consequences of the lockdown. First and foremost is the direct impact on their health. Emergency departments in the UK experienced unprecedented reductions of >50% in attendances during lockdown. [8] In Scotland, children’s emergency department attendances fell proportionally more than any other age-group.  This raises concerns that children with critical illnesses were not accessing health services on time and, therefore, suffering potentially avoidable harm.

 

60% of paediatricians responded within 7 days and, and 241 (32%) of 752 emergency department paediatricians had witnessed delayed presentations. Free text responses revealed diabetes mellitus (new diagnosis/diabetic ketoacidosis) as by far the most common delayed presentation, followed by delayed presentations of sepsis and new cancer diagnoses.

 

There were also nine deaths, resulting mainly from sepsis and malignancy, where delayed presentation was considered by the reporting paediatrician to be a significant contributing factor – higher than the total number of childhood covid-19 deaths reported over the same period in England.

Lockdown measures reduced the risk of covid-19, but had unintended consequences for children

Elimination proponent admits it means no return to normal

An early proponent of New Zealand’s elimination strategy has now admitted that the approach means the country cannot go back to normal.
In early interviews Souxsie Wiles claimed to be “excited” about vaccines for Covid19, but now says the early ones are unlikely to prevent death or transmission (see BMJ assessment of lead vaccines).
Wiles she says this is particularly problematic for New Zealand because it “stamped out” Covid19. A partially effective vaccine would not allow us to open borders and go back to normal (we presume she means that covid19 would re-enter the country and/or resume transmission).
Wiles has therefore clarified that it is New Zealand’s strategy which means New Zealand can not go back to normal.
This will be surprising and unpleasant news to most citizens. Wiles embraced the strategy and the government’s plan to eliminate and wait for a vaccine.
This is precisely the dilemma that Covid Plan B predicted would happen, and why we opposed the elimination and lockdown strategy.
We said that if elimination was the goal, our quandary was that we could not have a situation where covid19 was in transmission. Which meant we had to wait until a totally effective vaccine was available. We doubted that such a vaccine would be ready even in 2021.
In her Stuff article, Wiles seems to be happy with the idea that this isolation is the new normal. We are not.
 

Deaths due to lockdown: UK

Thanks to good record keeping and research in the UK that country is now counting the cost of lockdown on health.

The Spectator reports:

A study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found delayed and cancelled breast cancer treatments will cause between 281 and 344 additional deaths. For colorectal cancer, there were an extra 1,445 to 1,563 deaths, lung cancer an additional 1,235 to 1372 deaths and 330 to 342 more oesophagal cancer deaths.

 

A University of Leeds study estimated that there have already been an extra 2,085 deaths from heart disease and stroke as a result of people not accessing timely medical help. A study by the University Hospital of Northern Tees reveals that the number of endoscopies — used to investigate and diagnose bowel cancer — fell to just 12 per cent of their normal level between 24 March and 31 May

 

The National Blood and Transplant Service looked at the period between 23 March and 10 May and found that, compared with the same period in 2019, the number of organ donors fell by 66 per cent and the number of transplants fell by 68 per cent. This year, 87 people died while waiting for an organ transplant, compared with 47 last year.

And in a report by the ONS, an extra 25,472 people have died at home than would otherwise be expected from the average past five years.

Pre-existing immunity is retarding Covid19

Sunetra Gupta talks about her most recent study showing preexisting resistance to Covid19, and that 15-20% sero-positivity in the population could retard Covid19 prevalence and probably already is.

She also refers to some strange behavior of people opposed to looking into these matters.

https://youtu.be/ZCnTtKM6RK8.

Global leaders infected each other with panic

No matter how dangerous you think Covid19 might be, this academic analysis dissects the dangerous speed and nature of the authoritarian responses by otherwise democratic governments.

Its says the political ‘global copycat response’ signals an ‘pandemic of authoritarianization’ with “the potential to unleash humanitarian crises no less devastating than COVID-19 in the long run”.

https://academic.oup.com/jlb/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jlb/lsaa064/5912724#207838617

Irish doctor speak out against Covid19 being treated as a crisis

Irish doctors call for living with the virus with a “proportionate de-escalation of the current exclusive focus on Covid-19 to the exclusion of all other health and wellbeing needs of our Irish society”.

The frontline doctors in the group say they feel more confident about managing the disease now and believe “we can effectively co-exist with the virus”. They say current “unilaterally enforced national strategy” has not evolved in step with improve scientific understanding since the spring.

“We are in effect managing this as a ‘crisis’, from day to day, level to level – as though it were March 2020 when the actual crisis was present,” according to the letter.

Other signatories include surgeon Martin Feeley, who resigned as clinical director of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group last month after criticising the country’s approach to tackling the virus; one-time contraception campaigner Dr Andrew Rynne, who spoke at an anti-lockdown and anti-mask march in Dublin earlier this month; and retired GP and Aontú councillor in Derry, Dr Anne McCloskey, who has compared using masks to stop the spread of the virus to “using a sheep fence to keep out mosquitoes”.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/doctors-letter-calls-for-new-strategy-to-co-exist-with-covid-19-1.4384968

Ioannidis again encourages balanced response to Covid19

Vulnerable people, he believes, should continue to shelter in place, and anyone living or working in a high risk setting should receive weekly COVID-19 testing and careful contact tracing. He recommends similar measures for meat packing plants, prisons and especially nursing homes, where Centers for Disease Control data shows about one-third of all deaths have occurred.

At the same time, Ioannidis is convinced that shelter in place orders are doing great harm to the rest of society.

“We know that 95% of the population has practically minimal risk,” he said, adding It’s unlikely that in the current situation we are really saving lives. I think that probably we’re killing people by following some of these measures for forever.”

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, 29% of Americans are avoiding or delaying medical care due to fear of catching the coronavirus.

Dominic Battel, a 38-year-old father of two, put off going to the hospital after feeling chest pains. It was a Sunday in April and he spent the day working on his house and playing with his kids. His wife, Cortney, said Dominic was afraid if he went to the hospital he would catch the coronavirus.

Stanford Professor Warns COVID Shelter-in-Place Orders Are ‘Killing People’

Covid19 hits hardest after mild flu seasons

Paper shows that Covid19 has a higher CFR in locations which had experienced two previous mild flu seasons.

One possible conclusion is that mild flu seasons had resulted in larger populations of elderly and people with comorbidities.

https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/wp2003.pdf

Salvation Army counts social cost of lockdown

Loss of income, housing and jobs as a result of Covid-19 will create a  “underclass of social need”

“We’re seeing people who have lost their jobs and households unable to meet rent and mortgage costs.

In the past week, the organisation delivered 5895 food parcels, a 346 per cent rise from the week before the Cobid-19 lockdown.

https://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/research-policy/social-policy-parliamentary-unit/latest-report