Why Are We Still Doing This And What Does It Accomplish?

On October 7th, Newsweek reported the following:

More than 6,000 scientists have signed an anti-lockdown petition saying that coronavirus policies are causing “irreparable damage.”

The petition, which is named the Great Barrington Declaration after the town in Massachusetts it was signed in, was written on October 4 and has signatures from at least 2,826 medical and public health scientists, 3,794 medical practitioners and over 60,000 members of the general public.

It was co-authored by Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard; Dr. Sunetra Gupta, a professor at Oxford University; and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University Medical School.

“As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection,” the petition says in its opening line. “Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”

…The petition also discusses its approach for vulnerable people, noting that implementing measures to protect this group “should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19.”

The petition offers a number of examples of how to protect vulnerable people, such as recommending that nursing homes use staff with acquired immunity and delivering groceries and other essential goods to those who are retired.

“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal,” the petition says.

It goes on to say that simple hygiene measures, such as handwashing and staying home when sick, can help achieve the goal of herd immunity, while also noting that young adults should work from home and advocating a full reopening of the economy.

Meanwhile, Just the News posted an article today contrasting the current economic conditions between red and blue states.

The article reports:

As Democratic candidates across the nation harp on the economic devastation they attribute to the Trump administration’s mishandled COVID response, a closer look at state by state unemployment data reveals something far different: a tale of two economies on starkly divergent paths out of crushing shutdown economics. In “red” states, economic recovery is in full roar. “Blue” states, meanwhile, lag far behind, still staggering under unemployment levels associated with the deepest recessions. Suspended somewhere between these two poles are politically mixed “purple” states muddling through with fittingly middling unemployment numbers.

Just the News reviewed  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment data by state for August (the latest data available).The national unemployment rate — which now stands at 7.9% — was 8.4% in August. However, the economic pain represented by that number was not spread evenly across red, blue and purple states — far from it. Fueled by broader, faster economic reopenings following the initial coronavirus crash, conservative-leaning red states are by and large far outpacing liberal-leaning blue states in terms of putting people back to work.

Just the News found that 9 of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates are are led by Republican governors (Montana, led by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is the lone exception). In startling contrast, 9 of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates are led by Democrats (the exception being Massachusetts, led by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, a critic of President Trump).

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. This article illustrates why local elections matter. The states whose voters put Republicans in their state government are doing much better than the states being run by Democrats.

Did Sweden Get It Right?

Hot Air posted an article today about the way that Sweden dealt with the coronavirus. From the start, they followed a different path than much of the world.

The article reports:

In the global battle against the pandemic, few countries drew as much scrutiny and frequent criticism as Sweden during the early days. While the United States and most of Europe shut down their economies and put everyone on lockdown, the Swedes largely went about their business with no mandates for the wearing of masks or prohibitions on public gatherings. Sweden initially experienced a surge of novel coronavirus cases as compared to its neighbors. And then it felt like we stopped hearing about them quite so much. So what’s been going on?

As this report from the Associated Press indicates, what’s been going on has largely been… not much, at least in terms of the virus. Sweden only made slight modifications to its policies after the initial surge, but largely stuck with the herd immunity strategy. And now, just as much of Europe is experiencing a second surge in cases, Sweden has some of the lowest numbers in all of Europe. So did their herd immunity strategy actually work?

The Associated Press reports:

Now, as infection numbers surge again in much of Europe, the country of 10 million people has some of the lowest numbers of new coronavirus cases — and only 14 virus patients in intensive care.

Whether Sweden’s strategy is succeeding, however, is still very uncertain.

Its health authorities, and in particular chief epidemiologist Dr. Anders Tegnell, keep repeating a familiar warning: It’s too early to tell, and all countries are in a different phase of the pandemic.

The article at Hot Air continues:

Among Sweden’s population of ten million, they currently have a total of 14 people in ICU beds fighting COVID. In the past two weeks, they have reported 30.3 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, Spain is at 292.2 and France reports 172.1. That’s a rather startling difference.

The article concludes with some interesting speculation:

This should leave us to wonder if that wasn’t the ideal solution from the beginning. If we had locked down the nursing homes and provided relief to everyone over the age of 55 so they could stay home, along with anyone with a doctor’s note saying they had underlying respiratory or immune system issues, could we have just left the rest of the economy running? The idea of requiring a doctor’s note wouldn’t be any big deal. Most employers do that already for many Human Resources functions, including the use of sick time for more than a day or two. Further, the death toll in New York City wouldn’t have been anywhere near what we saw were it not for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous order forcing nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients and forbidding the screening of new residents.

What would our current death toll be today if we had followed that path? The vast, vast majority of healthy people under the age of 55 who contract the virus still come out the other side alive and without any serious, permanent health issues. There are some who are hit very hard to be sure, but the same can be said for other diseases that we live with (or, in some cases, don’t) every year. We’ll have to wait until the second wave has finished washing over Europe to be sure, but it’s starting to look as if the Swedes were onto something all along.

We can’t turn back the clock, but we can keep this in mind in dealing with future diseases.

I Can’t Figures Out If This Is Good News Or Bad News

Yesterday Townhall posted the following headline, “Oops: It Looks Like the Vast Majority of Positive COVID Results Should Have Been Negative.” It seems very likely that we have been snookered!

The article reports:

According to The New York Times, potentially 90 percent of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 have such insignificant amounts of the virus present in their bodies that such individuals do not need to isolate nor are they candidates for contact tracing. Leading public health experts are now concerned that overtesting is responsible for misdiagnosing a huge number of people with harmless amounts of the virus in their systems.

“Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time,” warns The Times.

So, if overtesting is causing “bottlenecks” that keep us from identifying contagious people in time, what does The New York Times believe the solution should be? More testing!

The article concludes:

It looks like the CDC was right, and not The Times, when the CDC issued guidance saying not everybody and their mother should get tested for COVID-19. 

If the coronavirus has made one thing clear, it’s that so-called “scientists” and “experts” are wrong all the time. They can’t accurately forecast a virus, they tell us different things about the effectiveness of a face mask, they insist the virus can’t spread at leftwing protests, and there’s a myriad of other examples too long to document here showing us the “experts” are really just making it all up as they go along, with their political biases on display for everyone with eyes to see.

There are some serious questions currently arising as to the necessity and wisdom of locking down our economy at all, much less continuing lockdowns. It may be time to take a another look at what we have done and what we should do in the future in dealing with the coronavirus.