“I never want to see national lockdown again,” he said.
Sweden famously didn’t lock down as much of the rest of the world has done, and although it’s been a bit of hit-and-miss, with critics citing a spike in deaths, the facts don’t quite bear that out.
5,308 COVID deaths
Voluntary social distancing
Restriction on visiting nursing homes
No mask mandate
32,446 COVID deaths
Put COVID infected into nursing homes
Open up our damn country!
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) August 19, 2020
One thing is clear, they didn’t have the same level of economic devastation as many other places that did choose to lock down.
Now, one of the United Kingdom’s advisors on the COVID-19 response team, SAGE, is regretting the decision that the country made to lock down in March.
Prof Woolhouse OBE, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours that advises the Government, said: “Lockdown was a panic measure and I believe history will say trying to control Covid-19 through lockdown was a monumental mistake on a global scale, the cure was worse than the disease.
“I never want to see national lockdown again. It was always a temporary measure that simply delayed the stage of the epidemic we see now. It was never going to change anything fundamentally, however low we drove down the number of cases, and now we know more about the virus and how to track it we should not be in this position again.
“We absolutely should never return to a position where children cannot play or go to school.
“I believe the harm lockdown is doing to our education, health care access, and broader aspects of our economy and society will turn out to be at least as great as the harm done by Covid-19.”
Source: Express U.K.
The United Kingdom’s lockdown focus was on schools and Professor Woolhouse says that they should have been more concerned about nursing homes.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was not available for comment because he’s promoting his book on leadership in the time of COVID, which he should have titled, “If I Did It.”
Professor Woolhouse said that the advisory committee should have had a more diverse group of expterts rather than just the medical experts to assess how lockdowns would affect all areas of society.
He said, “I suspect right now more people are being harmed by the collateral effects of lockdown than by Covid-19. This is why we need a broader range of people on the government advisory board Sage with equal input from economists to assess the damage to incomes, jobs and livelihoods, educationalists to assess the damage to children and mental health specialists to assess levels of depression and anxiety especially among younger adults, as well as psychologists to assess the effects of not being able to go to the theatre or a football match.”
He said that at the time, he agreed with the lockdown as a short-term emergency response because they “couldn’t think of anything better to do.”
Professor Woolhouse also says that hoping for a vaccine isn’t a strategy, and he doesn’t think that the virus is going to “burn out” the way that people seem to think that it will.
He says that we need to reassess and not try to use a one-size-fits-all measure to prevent the spread of the illness because that may not actually be possible.
“We should open schools, monitor closely for any outbreaks and have effective plans in place to deal with them if they happen,” he said and added, “The bottom line is that if we want to relax measures we have to accept there will be some outbreaks, which will be containable if we don’t open up too far, and not go into panic mode again.”
He also said that the only long-term solution that we currently have is testing. Although constant testing of healthcare workers, nursing home employees, social workers, teachers, and others in contact with young, (possibly asymptomatic) children would be expensive, he says that not doing it would mean being unable to reopen society fully.
He said that we need to focus on protecting the vulnerable–individuals with pre-existing conditions and those who are over 70 years old. “We need to protect those at greatest risk and make sure that the support they need is in place. Then we can re-evaluate the balance between controlling the virus and harms that lockdown causes to the wider economy and society,” said Profesor Woolhouse.
He’s not the only one publicly questioning lockdowns.
One journalist for Sky News in Australia says it rather bluntly.
Rowan Dean said that Australia should have seriously considered the Swedish model, and that not “practising voluntary social distancing, common sense restrictions on the size of crowds, no lockdown and keeping our economy intact” is something that the country’s children and grandchildren will be “paying a very heavy price for.”
Watch Dean’s comments here:
It’s no wonder that Dean feels so strongly–Australia has been going all-in on the authoritarian nonsense in response to COVID-19.
If Biden becomes President, he said that he’d “shut down” the country again if scientists told him to.
Joe Biden’s “I would shut it down” quote will be the single most damaging quote of his campaign. @dbongino is correct.
He just made the election Freedom vs Lockdowns. pic.twitter.com/JY8C8fzKlS
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 23, 2020