Jan. 14, 2021

What they said then about lockdowns

From Amelia Janaskie and Micha Gartz of Principia Scientific

In 2020, beliefs about how to handle a new virus shifted massively. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, mainstream epidemiology and public health entities doubted – or even rejected – the efficacy of lockdowns and mass quarantines because they were considered ineffective.
     This all changed in March 2020, when sentiment flipped in support of lockdown measures. Still, there is a vast body of evidence explaining their original stance and why these mandates do not work.

Fauci said that shutting down the country does not work. (January 24, 2020) 

World Health Organization Report discusses NPIs and why quarantine is ineffective. (2019)

WHO acknowledges social-distancing did not stop or dramatically reduce transmission during the 1918 influenza pandemic. (2006)

study in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology regarding the 1918 influenza pandemic in Canada also concluded quarantines do not work. (2003)

Popular author and Tulane adjunct professor John M. Barry, a strong opponent of the Great Barrington Declaration, argued that quarantines do not work in the case of the Spanish Flu. (2009)

Seton Hall’s Center for Global Health Studies Director says travel restrictions did not delay the transmission of SARS. (2009)

A study from Wake Forest University encounters ‘self-protection fatigue’ in simulated epidemic. (2013)

In Biosecurity and Bioterrorism journal, Johns Hopkins epidemiologists reject quarantines outright. (2006)

In a top journal, American Journal of Epidemiology, authors explain the conditions when quarantine would be effective, which do not align with the characteristics of Covid-19. (2006)

In the Epidemiology Journal, Harvard and Yale professors Marc Lipsitch and Ted Cohen say delaying infection can leave the elderly worse off. (2008)

A team of Johns Hopkins scholars say quarantines don’t work but are pursued for political reasons. (September 2019)

   Read on for the various reports and studies. The position that business closures and mass quarantines are ineffective appears valid.

It is troubling is that although the approach appears ineffective, our governments are doubling down on bad decisions rather than looking at alternate measures.

COVID regulations on isolation, a cute substitute for quarantine, and business closures are authoritarian. dictatorial and incompatible with democracy. The people in government are elected by and represent the people. They must govern in the best interests of the people they represent. They have no authority to dictate to their constituents except in a public emergency and then only for a limited duration.

Governments cannot escape their constitutional responsibilities by turning over policy making and direction to appointed medical officers. Governments would be remiss in not seeking advice from medical personnel on the handling of a virus. Still, there is no evidence that medical people advocated for business closures and quarantine of healthy people.

Health care specialists are not responsible for the plan adopted to limit the spread of coronavirus. Only governments have the power to adopt public policies and issue laws and regulations within our constitutional framework. They cannot download constitutional obligations to their appointed medical officers.

The current effort to pretend that medical consultants are deciding what measures are needed and appropriate is an attempt by government officials to avoid accountability for decisions. We must hold them to account for injuries arising from their decisions.

We may regard 2021 as the year of the lawyer. Closing down businesses for extended periods is uncomfortably close to invoking expropriation without compensation. Business owners, contractors and the self-employed who have lost their equity and investments due to government intervention will seek compensation.

We are witnessing the beginning of the end of COVID-19 and the start of rebuilding our economy and society. Our society will rebuild on its terms, not on government terms. Political parties and those standing for election must answer to the people first and always. We are observing the results of hyper-partisanship playing out in the U.S.A. The US House of Representatives is acting like an old-west vigilante posse than a decorous body of reasoned representative of the people.   

When politicians decree that winning power is more important than accountability to the electorate, democracy is reduced to a hazy shadow of what it is.