Letter to the Editor: Why Increasing Number of Cases of COVID-19 is NOT Bad News
By JOHN T. LITTELL, MD
By JOHN T. LITTELL, MD
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.
[Lockdown] policies have created the greatest global economic disruption in history, with trillions of dollars of lost economic output. These financial losses have been falsely portrayed as purely economic. To the contrary, using numerous National Institutes of Health Public Access publications, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and various actuarial tables, we calculate that these policies will cause devastating non-economic consequences that will total millions of accumulated years of life lost in the United States, far beyond what the virus itself has caused.
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.
A Cypriot epidemiologist tracking the data…. says around half of people infected in Cyprus may have contracted the virus while indoors.
Dr Elpidoforos Soteriades, who got his degree in epidemiology at Harvard, told the Sunday Mail: “In the case of population lockdown, people were forced to stay at home. However, once the virus was already spreading within the community, lockdown was literally forcing healthy individuals to stay in close contact with relatives that might have been exposed to the virus and were potentially spreading the virus at home.”
Cabinet is set to look at whether New Zealand should move to level 1 on June 22, but pressure is mounting to move earlier, with Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters saying it should have already happened.
Dr Simon Thornley, senior lecturer of public health at Auckland University, told Mike Hosking we should be at level 1 by now.
“A second wave is extremely unlikely.
“Japan have opened up and they haven’t had a second wave and they have a of things against them that we don’t have, like densely populated cities.”
Thornley also says a travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia is now safe.
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…”
Health issues India discuss coronavirus models with Dr Simon Thornley.
Sweden’s former top state epidemiologist has claimed unless a vaccine is found soon, lockdowns like New Zealand’s won’t prevent any deaths at all – just push them into the future.
Johan Giesecke’s call, published by journal The Lancet, comes the same week a new paper claims lockdowns in hard-hit western Europe haven’t saved a single life at all, which has split opinion among experts.
Sweden has taken a different approach to handling the COVID-19 pandemic than most other countries, deciding against a lockdown of any kind, instead relying on people following social distancing guidelines. As of Monday, it had 26,300 confirmed cases and 3225 deaths – far more than its Scandinavian neighbours, but only a fraction of those seen in Spain, Italy and the UK, which have all implemented lockdowns of various kinds.
21 April: “Encouraging signs” that Sweden’s approach is working, and will work over the longer term. Sweden’s authorities proposed a liberal approach based on individual responsibility because it can be tolerated for longer and it has the effect of ‘flattening the curve’.