By Paul Elias Alexander
The great body of evidence (comparative research studies and high-quality pieces of evidence and reporting judged to be relevant to this analysis) shows that COVID-19 lockdowns, shelter-in-place policies, masks, school closures, and mask mandates have failed in their purpose of curbing transmission or reducing deaths. These restrictive policies were ineffective and devastating failures, causing immense harm especially to the poorer and vulnerable within societies.
Nearly all governments have attempted compulsory measures to control the virus, but no government can claim success. The research indicates that mask mandates, lockdowns, and school closures have had no discernible impact of virus trajectories.
Bendavid reported “in the framework of this analysis, there is no evidence that more restrictive nonpharmaceutical interventions (‘lockdowns’) contributed substantially to bending the curve of new cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, or the United States in early 2020.” We’ve known this for a very long time now but governments continue to double down, causing misery upon people with ramifications that will likely take decades or more to repair.
The benefits of the societal lockdowns and restrictions have been totally exaggerated and the harms to our societies and children have been severe: the harms to children, the undiagnosed illness that will result in excess mortality in years to come, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation in our young people, drug overdoses and suicides due to the lockdown policies, the crushing isolation due to the lockdowns, psychological harms, domestic and child abuse, sexual abuse of children, loss of jobs and businesses and the devastating impact, and the massive numbers of deaths resulting from the lockdowns that will impact heavily on women and minorities.
Now we have whispers again for the new lockdowns in response to the Omicron variant that, by my estimations, will be likely infectious but not more lethal.
How did we get here? We knew that we could never eradicate this mutable virus (that has an animal reservoir) with lockdowns and that it would likely become endemic like other circulating common cold coronaviruses. When we knew an age-risk stratified approach was optimal (focused protection as outlined in the Great Barrington Declaration) and not carte blanche policies when we had evidence of a 1,000-fold differential in risk of death between a child and an elderly person. We knew of the potency and success of early ambulatory outpatient treatment in reducing the risk of hospitalization and death in the vulnerable.
It was clear very early on that Task Forces and medical advisors and decision-makers were not reading the evidence, were not up to speed with the science or data, did not understand the evidence, did not ‘get’ the evidence, and were blinded to the science, often driven by their own prejudices, biases, arrogance, and ego. They remain ensconced in sheer academic sloppiness and laziness. It was clear that the response was not a public health one. It was a political one from day one and continues today.