The Covid-19 Pandemic: Did Continued Lockdowns Make Sense?

A deadly virus, SARS CoV-2, causing the disease Covid-19, came out of Wuhan China with its worldwide spread propelled by the immense increase of international trade and travel. The virus’s origins remain unresolved in part because of China’s obsession with self-aggrandizement and WHO’s need not to offend any U.N. member, especially China.  Still among the many improbable theories, the most likely source is an escape from the Wuhan level 4 Chinese viral laboratory that did receive NIH funding (Ref.1).  Every viral disease affects the population in its own unique way: the H1N1 flu of 1918 caused most deaths in the 20-40 age group; seasonal flu is most lethal to the very young and elderly. Early on with Covid-19, we learned that long term care facilities were especially at risk for fatal outcomes; 0.6% of our population are in nursing homes but are experiencing about 45% of all deaths. In contradistinction, on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in 2020 with over 1200 sailors mostly young women and men with confirmed virus infection, one died, a death rate of 0.1% (Ref.2).  With this virus, almost all deaths are in individuals 55y/o and older or others with underlying health issues.  In the young and healthy virus presence is frequently asymptomatic, though teenagers and older can infect others. Obsessing about the spread of virus among this demographic was a waste of resources.       

Unfortunately, before adjusting their recommendations for a plan of action our government and academic “experts” along with a politicalized press did not ask if the virus was new to the country or already established albeit in lower numbers. This was vitally important; if the virus was new, we should do everything possible, i.e., lockdowns to prevent spread.  If already established, especially with asymptomatic carriers, further spread with time is inevitable and lockdowns would cause more damage than benefit.  The emphasis should then be doing everything possible to protect the vulnerable. Evidence was emerging that the virus was already established; however, we continued to pursue trying to prevent the spread of the virus that with time was doomed to fail. Recent evidence reveals that the virus first emerged in Wuhan in November 2019, ample time to spread around the world before being noticed, a critical public health deficiency (Ref.3,4). Eventually, deaths per million in Sweden, with no lockdown and the rest of the EU with lockdowns were the same (Ref.5).  If we had made an intense effort to protect the vulnerable instead of following the virus, we could have prevented many deaths.  Instead, we had ineffective lockdowns that caused great harm to many millions of children and adults.

Our political leaders at the outset of the pandemic needed to make decisions.  They frequently used the term, “we follow the science”, while actually, they were following “expert opinion” which is less definite and can vary. Whereas science is data driven and requires continually refining understanding as new information accumulates, this process takes time. An example is the debate between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, two of the brightest in modern times. They focused on the question of quantum physics and entanglement. The issue was resolved long after their deaths in favor of Professor Bohr (Ref.6)
 
With time the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread throughout the population in countries whether or not they adopted lockdowns which have their own profound detrimental effects. As the data regarding the extent of those already infected but asymptomatic became available, our “experts”, did NOT adjust and continued defending lockdowns.  Instead, the young and healthy needed to stay active with society aggressively protecting the vulnerable. Vaccination was required to allow the entire population to return to normal activities.  

1.    Ken Fisher, M.D., Was this Pandemic Man-Made and In Part Funded by the U.S.?, Feb, 10, 2021, Authentic Medicine, available at: https://authenticmedicine.com/2021/02/was-this-pandemic-man-made-and-in-part-funded-by-the-u-s/ (Accessed Feb. 10, 2021)
2.    Matthew R. Kasper, Jesse R. Geibe, Christine L. Sears, et. al., An outbreak of Covid-19 on an aircraft carrier, N Engl J Med 2020, 383:2417-2428, available at: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2019375 (Accessed March 9, 2021)
3.    Eran Bendavid, Blanca Mulaney, Neeraj Sood, et.al., COVID-19 Antibody Seroprevalence in Santa Clara Country, California, medRxiv, April 22, 2020, available at: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.14.20062463v1 (Accessed March 9, 2021)
4.    Francisco Diez-Fuertes, Maria-Iglesias-Cabaillero, Javier Garcia-Perez, et.al., A founder Effect Led Early SADS-CoV-2 Transmission in Spain, J. Virol. Jan. 13, 2021, available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33127745/ (Accessed March 8, 2021)
5.    Philippe Lemoine, The Case Against Lockdowns, March 4, 2021, CSPI, available at: https://cspicenter.org/blog/waronscience/the-case-against-lockdowns/  (Accessed March 10, 2021)
6.    The Solvay Debates: Einstein versus Bohr, available at: https://galileo-unbound.blog/2020/06/15/the-solvay-debates-einstein-versus-bohr/   (Accessed March 11, 2021)

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