UPSC Courses

editorial plus

Editorial Plus


Lockdowns don’t work

  • 24 October, 2020

  • 5 Min Read

Lockdowns don’t work


  • On the advice of experts, the world confronted the SARS Cov-2 virus in an unprecedented manner — closures of schools and workplaces and lockdowns became commonplace.


  • WHO director Tedros Adhanom said as early as March 11 that history does not have a precedent for controlling a pandemic. Yet, lockdowns were recommended.
  • Today, cases are 40 times, and deaths 24 times higher. This has occurred during the most intense period of lockdowns and controls around the world. These are not statistics about even partial success; rather, indicators of massive failure.
  • The world has gone through many pandemics since the Spanish Flu of 1918.
  • The 1957-58 Influenza pandemic in USA was such a rapidly spreading disease that it became quickly apparent to US health officials that efforts to stop or slow its spread were futile.
  • Thus, no efforts were made to quarantine individuals or groups, and a deliberate decision was made not to cancel or postpone large meetings such as conferences, church gatherings, or athletic events for the purpose of reducing transmission.

Non-pharmaceutical Intervention:

  • WHO report entitled “Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza”. The word “lockdown” (one form of a non-pharmaceutical intervention or NPI) does not appear in this report.
  • Nor does the WHO report even recommend masks (a favourite 2020 NPI) in case of an epidemic, though it does advocate their use for symptomatic individuals.
  • There have been a number of high-quality randomised controlled trials (RCTs) demonstrating that personal protective measures such as hand hygiene and face masks have, at best, a small effect on influenza transmission, although higher compliance in a severe pandemic might improve effectiveness (emphasis added).
  • Yet, for COVID-19, NPIs were recommended in bundles by WHO and other experts.
  • As is universally acknowledged, the WHO is the apex body for advice and guidance for health problems. It houses leading epidemiological experts and before COVID, they were advocating policies reminiscent of earlier confrontations with viruses.
  • Given this history, it remains a mystery as to why the world entered into a lockdown.

Lockdowns were counter-productive:

  • Since the average death rate from COVID is 2.5 per cent, these results imply that somewhere between 10 to 20 million less infections resulted from this unnatural experiment.
  • In the survey conducted, it has been found out that the dominant result is that not only lockdowns were not effective, but that, in a large majority of cases, lockdowns were counter-productive i.e. led to more infections, and deaths, than would have been the case with no lockdowns.
  • Note that in the late 1950s, influenza vaccines were available in the US and yet excess deaths were higher than the 2020 episode of no vaccine.
  • It is not as if no scientist forecast that lockdowns would be a disaster.
  • Sweden, for one, followed the herd-immunity approach, the same approach that was followed by the US (and all other nations) in all previous epidemics, Eg: during the 1955-58 epidemics.


Source: IE


Search By Date

Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts