Lockdowns

If Lockdowns are Needed, Why Did More People Die in U.S. States Which Locked Down Than Those Which Did Not?

One of the great things about America is that it has 50 states that can set their own policy across a broad range of areas, including on public health and lockdowns. This has allowed some to resist the stampede to impose swingeing restrictions on normal life in the hope of limiting transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and this provides us with a valuable control group in the great lockdown experiment that can give us an idea what might have happened if we hadn’t made some intervention or other.

During the autumn and winter a new surge in Covid infections prompted most US states, like most Western countries, to reimpose restrictions. But a few resisted. Eleven states did not impose a stay-at-home order and left people at liberty to leave their homes whenever they wished. Of these, four – Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and South Dakota – did not impose any restrictions at all and treated it pretty much like any other winter.

Although there are various differences between states that might have affected Covid outcomes, because they all form part of one country there are enough similarities to make comparisons useful. In particular, if lockdowns are effective and necessary to prevent hundreds of thousands of extra deaths (or the equivalent for the size of the population), then those states which didn’t lock down should have a far worse death toll. If the death tolls are not much worse, but about the same (or better), then lockdowns cannot be having a large impact on preventing Covid deaths.

In the chart above I have used data from Worldometer to plot the current total Covid deaths per million for each state. I have coloured the 11 states which did not lock down (i.e., impose a stay-at-home order) this winter in red. I have also calculated the average for the two groups of states, those which did not lock down over the winter and those which did, and coloured them in yellow.

As you can see, states which did not lock down over the winter, far from having many times more Covid deaths, have actually had fewer – 1,671 vs 1,736 deaths per million. There may be demographic or other reasons that some states have a higher or lower number of deaths than others so we shouldn’t read too much into the precise differences. But even so, if lockdowns are supposed to suppress the virus to low levels and thus prevent ‘hundreds of thousands’ of deaths (or the population equivalent), then how is this possible? The only conclusion is that lockdowns do not work as intended and do not suppress the virus.

This conclusion is reinforced by looking at the death tolls in the four states which imposed no restrictions at all over the winter, the average of which is 1,716 deaths per million, which is still below that of those which imposed lockdowns (1,736). Florida reopened in the autumn, Georgia and South Carolina in the spring of 2020, and South Dakota never closed. Yet overall they have suffered fewer Covid deaths per million than the states which imposed stay-at-home lockdowns this winter.

Those academic teams which produce models predicting doom for places which don’t impose the measures they recommend should be challenged to apply their models to these states and hindcast the last winter. Any model which cannot accurately reproduce the known outcomes for these states should be calibrated until it can. Otherwise, if it can’t get the answer right for the past, why should we trust it for the future?

The modelling teams at Warwick, Imperial and LSHTM can be found on Twitter (as can LSHTM’s Adam Kucharski) if anyone feels like putting these questions to them.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: Lockdowns Were a Huge Mistake

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who reopened his state last autumn and kept it open throughout the winter, has given a new interview to the Epoch Times where he talks of his regret in locking down last spring and the challenges he faced reopening in the face of widespread and fierce opposition.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order on April 1st last year, locking down the Sunshine State for 30 days amid global panic about the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak. Sitting in his office exactly one year later, he told the Epoch Times that the lockdowns were a “huge mistake,” including in his own state.

“We wanted to mitigate the damage. Now, in hindsight, the 15 days to slow the spread and the 30 – it didn’t work,” DeSantis said. “We shouldn’t have gone down that road.”

Florida’s lockdown order was notably less strict than some of the stay-at-home measures imposed in other states. Recreational activities like walking, biking, playing golf, and beachgoing were allowed, while what constituted an “essential business” was broadly defined.

“Our economy kept going,” DeSantis said. “It was much different than what you saw in some of those lockdown states.”

However, the Governor now regrets issuing the order at all and is convinced that states that have carried on with lockdowns are perpetuating a destructive blunder.

After the initial 30-day lockdown in Florida lapsed, DeSantis commenced a phased reopening. He faced fierce criticism at each stage from establishment media, as well as segments of his own constituency beholden to the lockdown narrative.

The Governor fully reopened Florida on Sept. 25th, 2020. When cases began to rise as part of the winter surge, he didn’t reimpose any restrictions. While lockdown proponents forecasted doom and gloom, DeSantis stood his ground.

The Governor’s persistence wasn’t a leap of faith. Less than two weeks after Florida’s full reopening in late September, scientists from Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford universities went public with the Great Barrington Declaration, which disavowed lockdowns as a destructive and futile mitigation measure. The declaration, which has since been signed by 13,985 medical and public health scientists, calls on public officials to adopt the focused protection approach – the exact strategy employed by DeSantis.

Despite dire predictions about the pandemic in Florida, DeSantis has been vindicated. On April 1st, Florida ranked 27th among all states in deaths per capita from the CCP virus, commonly known as COVID-19.

The ranking’s significance is amplified because the Sunshine State’s population is the sixth oldest in the United States by median age.

Politicians should have been prepared and blew it, DeSantis says, though they’re not the only ones to blame.

“You have a situation where if you’re in this field, the pandemic, that’s something that you kind of prepare for and you’re ready for,” said DeSantis. “And a lot of these people muffed it.

“When push came to shove, they advocated policies that have not worked against the virus but have been very, very destructive. They are never going to admit they were wrong about anything, unfortunately.”

Elected leaders aren’t the only ones to blame, according to the Governor. The media and big tech companies played a major role in perpetuating fears about the virus while selectively censoring one side of the mitigation debate. DeSantis said the media and tech giants stood to benefit from the lockdown as people stayed home and consumed their products.

“It was all just to generate the most clicks that they could. And so that was always trying to do the stuff that would inspire the most fear,” DeSantis said.

Well worth reading in full.

Sweden’s Professor Johan Giesecke: “I Think I Got Most Things Right, Actually”

Johan Giesecke, an advisor to the Director General of the WHO, former Chief Scientist of the EU Centre for Disease Control, and former state epidemiologist of Sweden, returned to UnHerd yesterday to resume his discussion with editor Freddie Sayers, adjourned a year ago. He was one of the first major figures to come out against lockdowns last spring, saying they are not evidence-based, the correct policy is to protect the old and the frail only, and the Imperial College modelling was “not very good”.

While he admits he made some mistakes, he believes that history will judge him kindly, and says: “I think I got most of the things right, actually.”

He gives a solid defence of the outcome in Sweden, ably batting away the “neighbour argument” that says Sweden failed because Norway and Finland did better.

The differences between Sweden and its neighbours are much bigger than people realise from the outside – different systems, different cultural traditions…If you compare Sweden to other European countries [such as the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium] it’s the other way round. On the ranking of excess mortality, Sweden is somewhere in the middle or below the middle of European countries. So I think it’s really Norway and Finland that are the outliers more than Sweden. … They’re more sparsely populated. There are less people per square kilometre in these two countries. There are also much fewer people who were born outside Europe living in these two countries.

He is also rightly dismissive of the charge that Sweden is currently the worst for infections in Europe. While positive cases are up, so is testing, and besides on the most important metric, excess deaths, Sweden has been far below average since the start of February.

Giesecke is direct in his unflattering comparison of the UK’s outcome with Sweden’s:

They’re very similar. And yet one of the countries has had three severe lockdowns and the other has only had voluntary or mostly voluntary measures. That tells us something I think. That lockdowns may not be a very useful tool in the long run.

The Case For Lockdown Collapsed When Sweden’s Epidemic Began to Retreat

Back in March of 2020, there was a reasonable case for lockdown. A new, highly contagious virus was spreading through the population, and while the death rate for young people was low, the death rate for elderly people was quite high. Early data pointed to an IFR of about 1%. We were told that – in the absence of drastic measures – the virus would continue to spread until about two-thirds of the population had been infected. A simple back-of-the envelope calculation suggested that, if we did not take drastic measures, the death toll would be enormous.

The UK’s population is 66.7 million. Two-thirds of that is about 44.5 million. Applying a 1% IFR yields 445,000 deaths. And that was if the NHS didn’t become overwhelmed. If it did become overwhelmed, we were told, the IFR might rise to 2 or even 3%. Hence we were looking at a worst-case scenario of around 1.3 million deaths. (Note: this is about ten times the official death toll, which is itself a slight overestimate.)

Although lockdowns would come with massive costs, I reasoned, it was worth having one to prevent hundreds of thousands – or even a million – people dying. Hence I supported the first lockdown. Though it may have been a reasonable thing to do given the information available at the time, I now believe that locking down was the wrong decision.

There are many elements in the case against lockdowns, as I have outlined in an article on this website. But – outside a few specific countries like Australia and New Zealand – the case for lockdowns basically collapsed in May of 2020, when Sweden’s epidemic began to retreat.

Sweden, of course, was the only major Western country that didn’t lock down in 2020. And the argument for lockdowns made a clear prediction concerning what would happen there: since the country hadn’t taken drastic measures, it would see substantially more deaths (relative to its population) than the countries that had locked down. Using a model “based on work by” Neil Ferguson’s team at Imperial College, researchers at Uppsala University predicted there would be 96,000 deaths by July 1st.

Fortunately, that isn’t what happened. The number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths by July 1st was only 5,370. And up to week 51, the country saw age-adjusted excess mortality of just 1.7% – below the UK and below the European average.

Now of course, Sweden isn’t identical to the UK. It’s more trusting, less densely populated, and has fewer multi-generational households. However, it isn’t dramatically different from the UK in these respects. So even if one might have expected fewer deaths in Sweden than in the UK, given the same policies, the fact that Sweden didn’t lock down should have massively increased its death toll. But it didn’t.

One reply to the argument I’ve just made is that Sweden did much worse than its neighbours. This reply has been extensively addressed by other commentators, and in any case the point remains that Sweden did not do catastrophically. Both its first and second epidemics retreated long before the herd immunity threshold was reached, and far less than 1% of the population has died.

The evidence from Sweden does not imply that the correct approach to COVID-19 was “do nothing”. As I’ve argued previously, a focused protection strategy like the one recommended in the Great Barrington Declaration would have been much less costly, and might have saved more lives, than the Government’s actual policy of intermittent lockdowns.

Vaccines the Cause of Britain’s Drop In Covid Cases, Not Lockdown, Says KCL Epidemiologist

A King’s College London epidemiologist has said that Britain’s “exemplar vaccine programme” – which has seen almost 40 million first and second doses administered – is behind the drop in Covid cases since January. Professor Tim Spector’s view contrasts with that of the Prime Minister who believes lockdown – not the vaccine – has delivered “this improvement in the pandemic“. The Mail has the story.

Vaccines are behind Britain’s sharp drop in coronavirus cases since January, top experts claimed today – despite Boris Johnson insisting lockdown was the reason for the fall.  

Professor Tim Spector, a King’s College London epidemiologist who runs the UK’s largest Covid symptom tracking study, said the epidemic had “mainly” been squashed by the “exemplar vaccine programme”.

With more than 60% of the population jabbed with at least one dose and up to 10% protected due to prior infection, Professor Spector added Britain was “starting to see herd immunity take effect”.

His comments come after data from his symptom-tracking app showed a 17% drop in daily cases last week, with an estimated 1,600 new symptomatic infections a day across the country – down from 60,000 at the peak in January.

Separate Test and Trace figures showed new cases in England had dipped by 34% last week, with 19,196 positive tests recorded in the seven days to April 7th – compared to 29,178 at the end of March. 

Professor Spector said: “As the UK slowly exits lockdown, I’m encouraged to see Covid cases continue to fall with our rates among the lowest in Europe. 

“In fact, the UK closely mirrors cases in Israel with its exemplar vaccine programme. Based on our data and countries like Israel, I believe the fall in cases since January is mainly thanks to the vaccination programme and less about the strict lockdown the UK has been under since late December. 

“With up to 60% of the population vaccinated and around five to 10% with natural immunity due to infection, we’re starting to see herd immunity take effect. This should prevent future large-scale outbreaks.”

Professor Spector warned it was inevitable cases would pick up again as restrictions are eased over the coming months. But he said any outbreaks would be “smaller” and “manageable” and among groups yet to be vaccinated.

The Prime Minister has been underplaying the impact of the vaccine for some weeks. As well as pinning the fall in Covid cases on lockdown rather than on the vaccine rollout, he recently said that vaccinated people must not meet indoors because jabs “are not giving 100% protection” – this despite the fact that the risk of catching a symptomatic Covid infection for two people who have been vaccinated is about one in 400,000. His confidence in lockdowns has, however, stood firm, despite an increasing number of studies showing they’re ineffective.

The report by the Mail is worth reading in full.

Seven Peer-Reviewed Studies That Agree: Lockdowns Do Not Suppress the Coronavirus

Many people still struggle to accept the idea that lockdowns don’t have any appreciable impact on Covid cases and deaths. After all, it’s obvious, isn’t it, that keeping people apart will stop the virus spreading?

Tom Harwood, formerly of Guido Fawkes now of GB News, tweeted a typically incredulous response to the idea: “Cannot understand how some can claim ‘lockdowns don’t work’ with a straight face. As if stopping people from mixing wouldn’t hit transmission? Sure argue the cost is too high, imposition on liberty too extreme, just don’t invent a fairytale denying the basics of germ theory.”

Even some die-hard lockdown sceptics will say that lockdowns work, in the sense of suppressing transmission for a time, but they just delay the inevitable so are pointlessly costly.

The models churned out by university academics and relied on by the Government to set policy all assume lockdown restrictions work, and even claim to quantify how much impact each intervention makes.

But what does the data say? What do the studies show that actually look at the evidence rather than just making a priori assumptions about how things “must surely” be?

There have been at least seven peer-reviewed studies which look at the question of lockdowns from a data point of view, and all of them come to the same basic conclusion: lockdowns do not have a statistically significant relationship with Covid cases or deaths. Here is a list of them with a key quote for ease of reference.

Many of these studies attribute a large part of the drop in infections and deaths to the voluntary measures introduced prior to the legally-enforced restrictions. However, this is typically introduced as an assumption with no robust evidence provided in support of it, and with no consideration of the other possible reasons that infections might have fallen, such as seasonality or growing population immunity. On the rare occasion that rigorous analysis is applied to this question as well, as with Savaris et al in their article in Nature looking at whether people staying at home (measured using mobility data) is associated with Covid deaths, the finding is similarly negative. Voluntary measures make little difference either.

This may seem to defy “the basics of germ theory”, as Mr Harwood put it. But it doesn’t, it just means we need to understand better how the virus is getting round.

Boris Is Wrong: The Lockdown Has Not Been “Overwhelmingly Important”

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said that the reduction in cases, hospitalisations and deaths “has not been achieved by the vaccination programme”. Rather, he claimed, “it’s the lockdown that has been overwhelmingly important in delivering this improvement in the pandemic and in the figures that we’re seeing”. While the lockdown may have had some impact on the epidemic’s trajectory, we should be very sceptical of the Prime Minister’s claim.

First, as Will Jones pointed out yesterday in Lockdown Sceptics, there are several US states where numbers fell dramatically in the absence of any lockdown: Florida, Texas, Georgia, South Dakota, South Carolina and Mississippi. And to this list, one could add Sweden. As shown below, the trajectory of deaths per million in Sweden is strikingly similar to that in the UK, even though the country has never gone into lockdown. (It should be noted, of course, that measures not based on age-adjusted excess mortality can be misleading.)

These examples do not show that lockdowns have no impact on the epidemic’s trajectory. But they do show that lockdowns are not necessary for case and death numbers to decline. Hence it is wrong to assume that, if numbers decline after a lockdown is introduced, it must have been the lockdown that caused the decline. (It might have been, but this cannot simply be assumed.)

Second, the most convincing study of the UK’s lockdowns of which I am aware (now published in Biometrics) concludes that each one was introduced only after the corresponding peak of fatal infections.

In particular, the statistician Simon Wood sought to reconstruct the actual time course of infections in England, based on available data. He notes that reported case numbers are subject to various forms of bias (e.g. non-representative samples, changes in the amount and type of testing) and that “under normal circumstances” statisticians would not “recommend attempting to estimate the effective reproduction number of the pathogen from such data”.

As an alternative, Wood used hospital death numbers (which, though imperfect, are less comprised than case numbers). In order to reconstruct the time course of infections, he combined these with the distribution of fatal disease durations (i.e., the number of days between infection and death), which he derived from the published literature.

His results are shown in the chart below. The grey dots are hospital deaths; the black line is inferred fatal infections; and the red lines are the lockdowns. As you can see, the peak of fatal infections occurs before the corresponding lockdown in each of the three cases. This finding casts serious doubt on the Prime Minister’s claim that the third lockdown has been “overwhelmingly important”.

Wood’s findings are consistent with those of economist David Paton, who notes that seven separate indicators all appear to show infections declining before the start of January’s lockdown. (Though it should be noted that parts of England were already under quite heavy restrictions when the lockdown began, and these may have contributed to the epidemic’s retreat.)

There is a large amount of evidence that lockdowns are neither necessary nor, in every case, sufficient to bring case and death numbers under control. This does not mean they have no impact on the epidemic’s trajectory, but it does mean that claims of “overwhelming” efficacy should be met with skepticism. And the best available evidence for England suggests that the infections were already declining when the third national lockdown was imposed.

Stop Press: Simon Wood, the author of the Biometrics study mentioned above, has written a piece for the Spectator responding to the Prime Minister’s comments, as well as the claim made by Imperial College that infections were surging right up until the first lockdown was imposed in March 2020.

Boris Johnson Says Lockdown Not Vaccines Responsible for Drop in Covid Cases and Deaths

Has Boris lost his faith in the vaccines? That’s certainly the impression you’d get from what he has said this morning. Speaking in 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister said:

The numbers are down of infections and hospitalisations and deaths. But it is very, very important for everybody to understand that the reduction in these numbers in hospitalisations and in deaths and infections has not been achieved by the vaccination programme. People don’t, I think, appreciate that it’s the lockdown that has been overwhelmingly important in delivering this improvement in the pandemic and in the figures that we’re seeing. And so, yes of course the vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown. So, as we unlock, the result will inevitably be that we will see more infection, sadly we will see more hospitalisation and deaths, and people have just got to understand that.

Notice that he didn’t say it’s a matter of waiting for the vaccines to take effect. It now appears that, regardless of vaccinations operating at full power, the Prime Minister thinks “inevitably” we will see more infection, hospitalisation and death.

The PM added that “at the moment” he couldn’t see “any reason” to change his roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions.

At Lockdown Sceptics, of course, we can give him several reasons for getting a move on. Florida, Texas, Georgia, South Dakota, South Carolina and Mississippi for starters. These states all currently have no restrictions at all, whether because they never had them (South Dakota), because they removed them after the first wave in the spring (Georgia and South Carolina) or in the autumn (Florida), or because they lifted them in the last few weeks (Mississippi and Texas). If lockdown is what brings infections down, what has brought them down in these states?

The claim that lockdowns “control” the coronavirus has no basis in the data or in the evidence-based (as opposed to model-based) scientific literature. No evidence-based study has found a statistically significant relationship between the severity or timing of interventions and Covid cases or death counts. It is “fake news”, to use the current parlance, and scientists and politicians need to stop repeating it as though doing so can make it true.

Looking just at the UK, it’s clear from the data that new daily infections peaked and began to fall before the lockdowns on all three occasions. Chris Whitty even admitted as much to MPs in July in relation to the first lockdown.

According to ONS data, new infections in the winter surge in England peaked in the week ending December 26th, nearly two weeks before the January lockdown and right in the middle of Christmas mingling that was predicted to cause a spike.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is England-ONS-new-infections.png

If lockdowns control the coronavirus then how can this be explained?

On one level it should be welcome that Boris is candidly admitting that the vaccines will not prevent all infections, hospitalisations and deaths. But then no one ever thought they would. The aim was just to make endemic Covid no worse than the usual pathogens we face, which many people believed requires effective vaccines. Now we have vaccines, there is no excuse not to lift restrictions, particularly seeing that places which have remained fully open even without vaccines have not seen catastrophic consequences, and often fared better than places with strict lockdowns.

COVID-19 outbreaks have consistently shown themselves to be self-limiting, regardless of what measures are or are not imposed. In some places the outbreaks are more severe, in some places less so. As with other similar seasonal respiratory pathogens this will be due to a combination of seasonality, the development of population immunity (including from vaccines, where available), the effectiveness of treatments, population density, and numerous other factors that might affect a population’s susceptibility to a particular pathogen. But on no occasion have the models attributing the differences to lockdowns been validated by empirical data.

As the Government appears to be preparing to pivot away from its vaccines-will-save-us narrative, the big danger is that what we get instead is not a freedom that accepts governments cannot prevent all evils, but a future of indefinite restrictions, periodically tightened and loosened, as the myth persists that only such measures are holding back the flood. If we are no longer to see the vaccines as our saviour, it is imperative that the Government shift to a zero restrictions approach, not a zero Covid one, and set us free without further delay.

Dutch Students “Made Little or No Progress While Learning From Home”, Study Concludes

Despite the fact that children face practically no risk from COVID-19, many countries closed schools in an attempt to suppress the epidemic. What effect did this have on children’s learning? According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it may have had a sizeable negative effect.

The study was based on data from the Netherlands, where national examinations take place twice a year: first in January and then again in June. Because last year’s lockdown happened to take place between the two examinations, the authors were able to compare students’ progress in 2020 to their progress in previous years.

This is a more robust method than simply comparing students’ post-lockdown performance to their performance in previous years, since it controls for any changes that may have occurred within the school system between 2019 and 2020. For example, the students enrolled in 2020 might be slightly different from those enrolled in 2019.  

The authors looked at math, spelling and reading scores, as well as a composite measure of all three, for students aged 8 to 11. Comparing scores between January and June, they found that students made considerably less progress in 2020 than in each of the three preceding years. Here’s one of their charts:

The learning loss was equivalent to one-fifth of a school year (roughly eight weeks), which means that students made essentially no progress under lockdown. In addition, the effect was 60% larger among students from less-educated homes, confirming that the costs of lockdown have fallen disproportionately on the working class.

As the authors note, their findings arguably reflect a “best-case scenario”, given that the Netherlands combines equitable school funding with high levels of broadband access, and the country’s lockdown only lasted eight weeks. Learning losses in other countries were probably even greater.

Stop Press: The authors of the study say the conclusions are applicable to English primary school children too.

How Did the Pro-Lockdown Consensus Emerge?

Today we’re publishing an original piece by a Russell Group university-trained epidemiologist looking at why a consensus emerged across the West so quickly last spring that the only way to manage the burgeoning coronavirus outbreak was to lock everyone in their homes. Why did governments around the world abandon their pandemic preparedness strategies, which had been honed over decades, in favour of a completely untried policy that has had disastrous consequences? The epidemiologist’s explanation is the inexorable rise of woke-ism.

Over the past several decades society has become predominantly secular. Simultaneously left-wing progressivism (‘woke-ism’) has become entrenched in academia and the mainstream media, ramping up to full volume the past few years. Progressivism has permeated public consciousness through activism by the mainstream media, social media and popular culture, filling the void once occupied by orthodox religion. As a consequence, victimhood, safety-ism and lockdown (and other Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions [NPIs]) adherence are prevailing narratives, with much of the public looking to big-government to ‘save them’ from any risk of SARS-CoV-2 through lockdown. This is particularly evident in the USA where support for NPIs tends to split down party lines. A signature of progressivism is the abuse and (attempted) ‘cancellation’ of anyone who objects to its ‘truth’. This now includes anyone who dares mention the scientific orthodoxy set out in the pandemic preparedness guidelines, other perfectly rational and feasible alternative strategies to the management of SARS-CoV-2, such as the Great Barrington Declaration, or actual facts that counter the lockdown dogma. This has been exacerbated by government failure to set up advisory committees comprising diverse academic opinion on all aspects of lockdown, including its detrimental effects. Consequently, lockdown ideology persists with few voices willing or able to contest it. The vitriol dished out to anyone who questions the wisdom of lockdown has been extraordinary, particularly on social media but also by mainstream journalists who insinuate that any opposing view is not valid. Lockdown ideology has also been corroborated by big tech which positions itself as progressive, with the removal or shadow banning of material contradicting the lockdown and NPI mantra from its platforms. Even the WHO has kowtowed to appease the lockdown ideologues by temporarily changing the established definition of herd immunity, and defining a confirmed ‘case’ as “a person with a positive Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT [PCR])” including in the absence of symptoms. Big-government lockdown, propagated as the only virtuous and effective response to SARS-CoV-2 by a vociferous media and biased government advisers, has been bought hook, line and sinker by a risk-averse public (and politicians).

Worth reading in full.