Top Prof’s Data Analysis Of COVID-19 Outbreak Timeline Shows No Difference In Spread With Lockdowns In Place

Written by K. Walker on April 14, 2020

This prof says that it was a terrible miscalculation to insist on persistent lockdowns that shut down the global economy.

Major Gen. (Res) Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel, holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics from Tel Aviv University. He is the Chairman of the Israeli Space Agency and the National Council for Research and Development, and is the head of the Security Studies program at Tel Aviv University. Professor Ben-Israel along with his colleagues, Prof. Ziegler of the Technion and Ronnie Yefarah, have conducted an examination of the outbreaks of COVID-19 country by country and they have made some interesting observations.

This professor says that mathematical models show that the outbreak peaks at 40 days and peters out by 70 days, and it doesn’t seem to matter if lockdown orders are in place or not.

He describes research that he has conducted with a fellow professor, which he says shows that the number of new cases of the virus peaks after about 40 days and declines to near zero after 70 days, no matter where in the world it strikes and no matter whether countries shut down their economies or not.

While he supports social distancing, he says the widespread shuttering of economies worldwide is a demonstrable error. In Israel’s case, he notes, about 140 people normally die every day. To have shuttered much of the economy because of a virus that is killing one or two a day is a radical error that is unnecessarily costing Israel 20% of its GDP, he charges.

Source: The Times Of Israel

Cue the handwringing on the left of “If it saves just one life!” while ignoring the millions of people facing job loss, hardship, and countless other forms of suffering.

The Professor examined the outbreak of coronavirus in Israel, which has imposed strict lockdowns, as well as the outbreaks in other countries.

“The incidence of patients was greater by the day. This was during the first four weeks after the epidemic was discovered in Israel. As of the sixth week, the increase in the number of patients has been moderate, peaking in the sixth week at 700 patients per day. Since then it has been declining, and today there are only 300 new patients. In two weeks it will reach zero and there will be no more new patients,” Prof. Ben-Israel said.

“This is how it is all over the world. Both in countries where they have taken closure steps like Italy and in countries that have not had closures like Taiwan or Singapore. In such and such countries there is an increase until the fourth to sixth week, and immediately thereafter moderation until during the eighth week it disappears.”…

…”This is happening both in countries that have closed down like us and in those that have not closed until today like Sweden, every country no matter its response. The decline and rise occur according to the same timeline,” he said, adding that his observations are based entirely on past data without attempting to guess what will happen in the future.

“It’s clear to us how the epidemic is starting and what is causing the increase. What is causing the moderation is unclear. Therefore, I propose that we end the closures immediately after the current week. We will start increasing the workforce from 15 percent to fifty percent and in two weeks we will reach 100 percent.”

Source: Israel National News

It should be noted that Professor Ben-Israel is a mathematician and not an expert in public health, however, public health experts have relied on models as the basis for public policy.

Also, models are don’t account for anything other than the information that is put into them–they don’t take into consideration changes variables such as changes to behavior unless those are specifically calculated in.

 

Professor Ben-Israel’s model has been criticized by Prof Gabi Barbash, Israel’s former Health Ministry Director-General. He said that Ben-Israel’s analysis is incorrect and that the death toll would have been much higher if lockdowns hadn’t been imposed by Israel and many other countries. He added, “I strongly urge that we not let mathematicians — who know nothing about biology — determine when we lift the lockdown.”

Professor Ben-Israel disagrees. He says that the data from countries that didn’t impose strict lockdowns actually proves his point.

But Ben Israel says the figures — notably from countries, such as Singapore, Taiwan, and Sweden, which did not take such radical measures to shutter their economies — prove his point.

High death tolls in some countries are a factor of their healthcare systems being overwhelmed, he acknowledges. When Barbash cites New York as one example of an overwhelmed healthcare system, and argues that only radical measures are preventing worse crises worldwide, Ben Israel says the latest indications from New York are that the strain on the healthcare system is starting to recede — in line with his statistics that show daily new cases figures peaking and starting to fall after 40 days.

Source: The Times Of Israel

Professor Ben-Israel does say that social distancing and other precautions should continue to be taken, but keeping healthy people home doesn’t seem to make sense. He urges that “we take all the hygienic steps like wearing masks and keeping our distance from person to person and banning crowds because it does not cost the economy. What bothers me is the damage to the economy. We are paying NIS 100 billion a month because of this closure. This also has implications for health. We will pay with more human lives with our health system in the current state.”

He’s right about the impact on the health system, and not just in places where healthcare is government-run.

In some jurisdictions, elective and non-urgent procedures are being delayed while the system is stretched thin due to the sheer number of coronavirus patients requiring hospitalization. We don’t know what the long-term cost of those decisions will be, or the number of lives lost because of delays in cancer treatment or organ transplants.

That also doesn’t include the well-studied link between job loss and an increase in substance abuse. 

We cannot live locked up forever. That’s just not an option.

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll