We’ve already seen
here, here, and here that lockdowns will cause stress-illness deaths in wealthier nations that rival the death toll of the virus itself. Reuters recently joined the chorus of saner voices pointing out that more people will die as a result of lockdowns and those consequences are being ignored, although they wrongheadedly focus first on suicides, which are a much smaller proportion of deaths than the stress-illness deaths that will skyrocket due to unemployment.
We’ve also seen that experts such as Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis and 800 Yale physicians, public health PhDs, and epidemiologists have decried the lockdowns as not based on valid evidence and likely to have serious unintended consequences. I plan to go into what the limited evidence available suggests does mitigate the virus in a future column.
Look at Their Actions, not Their Words
In the meantime, Neil Ferguson, whose initial modeling of the pandemic yielded insanely inflated numbers, and who advocated the most extreme of lockdown measures, fostering a global authoritarian panic, has resigned in disgrace. He was caught violating the lockdown rules he himself helped create by having sex with his married girlfriend…whose husband was ill with coronavirus symptoms. That demonstrates that the questionable motivations of advocates of these measures go all the way to the highest levels.
Lockdowns Hurt the Global Poor
It brings me only sorrow to report that predictions are emerging of the effects the advancing recession will have on the developing world.
The BBC brings us a report estimating that 30 million people will starve in “biblical” famines caused by the deliberate disruption of the web of economic interdependency that sustains humanity. This is in addition to people killed by the virus itself.
And a report Developed by Stop TB Partnership in collaboration with Imperial College, Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University and USAID predicts that low- and middle-income countries that lock down will have as many as 1,367,300 additional tuberculosis deaths over the next five years as a consequence. That’s not taking into account either hypothetical interactions between tuberculosis and Covid-19, or the decrease in TB prevention public health programs resulting from the cuts in government revenues due to the recession/depression.
First, Do No Harm
I enjoyed this Venn diagram, which describes my perspective on this pandemic to a “T”:
This virus is no joke. Especially for people who are older, obese, and/or have a variety of common diseases, it can be lethal. Most such people at risk will self-isolate. But now that we know that deaths and serious illnesses in children are rare and in young adults are uncommon, one has to ask if the forcible closing of businesses, recreation and exercise facilities, and even public streets is appropriate. The risk to young healthy people of going out in public (maintaining arms-length spacing and avoiding large gatherings) is much lower than many things (for example, driving a car) that people do on a daily basis without any hesitation.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the most rational way to approach the situation is for younger people to get back to work and into public settings, building a herd immunity, so that older folks can eventually sit in the parks and feed the pigeons again.
But to do that, humanity will need to push back against the brutal top-down control that is being imposed.
Are you brave enough to speak out?