The most comprehensive analysis yet, comparing Google movement data to Covid19 deaths has found that lockdown (“stay at home”) had no role in preventing Covid19 fatalities.
The scientific report published in Nature says:
“In ~ 98% of the comparisons using 87 different regions of the world we found no evidence that the number of deaths/million is reduced by staying at home. Regional differences in treatment methods and the natural course of the virus may also be major factors in this pandemic…”
There have been some studies recently matching Google movement data to Covid19 patterns but these have not been sufficiently long in their time period:
The small sample size and the non-stationary nature of COVID-19 data are challenges for statistical models, but our analysis, with 25 epidemiological weeks, is relatively larger than previous publications which used only 7 weeks62. A short interval of observation between the introduction of an NPI and the observed effect on death rates yields no sound conclusion, and is a case where the follow-up period is not long enough to capture the outcome, as seen in previous publications44,45
The tragedy of it all is, as the study authors conclude, that the lockdown advice from authorities therefore appears to be based on a very common error of judgement known as the ‘exception fallacy’. That is where something that could be true for an individual is therefore concluded to be true for a population. In this case, that if an individual stays at home, they won’t catch a virus, so if everyone stays home, no one catches a virus. Stated like that, the policy seems bizarre.
given the importance of social isolation promoted by world authorities63, we expected a higher incidence of significant comparisons, even though it could be an ecological fallacy. The low number of significant associations between regions for mortality rate and the percentage of staying at home may be a case of exception fallacy, which is a generalization of individual characteristics applied at the group-level characteristics64.
This research means the sole reason for lockdowns – saving lives – most likely hasn’t happened.
Which means all that lockdowns will leave is their social, health and economic costs.
It also means that whatever has kept the NZ experience mild from March 2020 to March 2021, has not been its fabled ‘elimination’ strategy.