AUBURN, Alabama (PNN) - September 10, 2020 - The toll lockdowns have taken on human life and human rights has been incalculable. Increases in child abuse, suicide, and even heart attacks all appear to be a feature of mandatory stay-at-home orders issued by politicians who now rule by decree without any constitutional authority or democratic due process.
Now there is the economic toll on employment, which will feed negative impacts into the longer term. The economic burden has fallen on the young, and on working class families where earners are least able to work from home.
These measures have also made a mockery of basic human rights while essentially expropriating private property. Mom-and-pop business owners were told to shut their doors indefinitely or face arrest. The unemployed were told it was now illegal to work for a living if their careers were deemed by the tyrannical State to be “non-essential”. Terrorist pig thug cops have beaten citizens for not “social distancing” while mothers are manhandled by terrorist pig thug cops for attempting to use playground equipment.
This was all done because some politicians and bureaucrats - who were in no danger of losing their large paychecks - decided it was a great idea to carry out a bizarre and risky experiment: forcing large swaths of the population to stay at home in the name of preventing the spread of a non-threatening disease.
Politicians have long dreamed of forcing people into isolation en masse. It was most recently revived during the George W. Bush regime.
Fourteen years ago, two federal government doctors, Richard Hatchett and Carter Mecher, met with a colleague at a burger joint in suburban Washington for a final review of a proposal they knew would be treated like a piñata: telling Amerikans to stay home from work and school the next time the country was hit by a deadly pandemic.
Doctors Hatchett and Mecher were proposing that Amerikans in some places might have to turn back to an approach - self-isolation - first widely employed in the Middle Ages.
How that idea - born out of a request by President George W. Bush to ensure the nation was better prepared for the next contagious disease outbreak - became the heart of the national playbook for responding to a pandemic is one of the untold stories of the coronavirus crisis.
The concept of social distancing is now intimately familiar to almost everyone; but as it first made its way through the federal bureaucracy in 2006 and 2007, it was viewed as impractical, unnecessary and politically infeasible.
Lockdowns don’t work
Why was it considered impractical and unnecessary? There is more than one reason, but one major reason is that lockdowns have never been shown to be particularly effective. With this lack of success in containment it must also be weighed with the very real costs of forced isolation. This was explained in a 2006 paper in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism called Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza by Thomas V. Inglesby, Jennifer B. Nuzzo, Tara O’Toole, and D. A. Henderson. The authors conclude:
”There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods in order to slow the spread of influenza. A World Health Organization (WHO) Writing Group, after reviewing the literature and considering contemporary international experience, concluded that ‘forced isolation and quarantine are ineffective and impractical.’ Despite this recommendation by experts, mandatory large-scale quarantine continues to be considered as an option by some authorities and government officials.”
The interest in quarantine reflects the views and conditions prevalent more than 50 years ago, when much less was known about the epidemiology of infectious diseases, and when there was far less international and domestic travel in a less densely populated world. It is difficult to identify circumstances in the past half-century when large-scale quarantine has been effectively used in the control of any disease. The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme (forced confinement of sick people with the well; complete restriction of movement of large populations, and difficulty in getting critical supplies, medicines, and food to people inside the quarantine zone) that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration.
Not surprisingly, then, it’s now becoming apparent that lockdowns don’t work when actually tried. Donald Luskin noted:
“Measuring from the start of the year to each state’s point of maximum lockdown - which range from April 5 to April 18 - it turns out that lockdowns correlated with a greater spread of the virus. States with longer, stricter lockdowns also had larger COVID outbreaks. The five places with the harshest lockdowns - the District of Columbia, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts - had the heaviest caseloads.”
Basically, Luskin searched for a clear correlation between lockdowns and better health outcomes in relation to COVID-19. He found none. He continues:
“It could be that strict lockdowns were imposed as a response to already severe outbreaks. But the surprising negative correlation, while statistically weak, persists even when excluding states with the heaviest caseloads. It makes no difference if the analysis includes other potential explanatory factors such as population density, age, ethnicity, or prevalence of nursing homes, general health or temperature. The only factor that seems to make a demonstrable difference is the intensity of mass-transit use.”
He continued, “We ran the experiment a second time to observe the effects on caseloads of the reopening that began in mid-April. We used the same methodology, but started from each state’s peak of lockdown and extended to July 31. Confirming the first experiment, there was a tendency (though fairly weak) for states that opened up the most to have the lightest caseloads. The states that had the big summer flare-ups in the so-called “Sunbelt second wave” - Arizona, Kalifornia, Florida and Texas - are by no means the most opened up, politicized headlines notwithstanding.”
“[T]here’s no escaping the evidence that, at minimum, heavy lockdowns were no more effective than light ones, and that opening up a lot was no more harmful than opening up a little,” Luskin concluded. So where is the science that would justify the heavy lockdowns many public-health officials are still demanding?
In fact, the overall trend of infection and death appears to be remarkably similar across many jurisdictions regardless of what non -pharmaceutical interventions are taken by policymakers.