Friday, 13 May 2022

UK Professor of epidemiology shows lockdowns were ineffective

And this in The Guardian! Who were staunch hawks on lockdowns — “sooner, harder, quicker” lockdowns, masking, social distancing, quarantines, was their mantra. So I say good on The Guardian for carrying this story: Ending England’s Covid restrictions was divisive – but the data shows we were right

Clinical epidemiologist Raghib Ali shows how England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all pursuing different Covid strategies makes a perfect “natural experiment”. England had the least strict measures since July 2021 and since February 2022 has had no restrictions at all. Others, especially Scotland, were — and remain — far more strict. Yet it’s England that has performed the best in terms of hospitalisations, deaths and even excess deaths. 

This is as close to science as you’ll get, as these are similar countries, with similar climates, demographics, societies, etc… ie, we’re comparing apples 🍏 with apples 🍏. 

Though we say here in Hong Kong “follow the science” we don’t. Our government will ignore this or find ways to dispute it.

By the way same is true for masking. Mask-mandated Scotland did worse than non-mask-mandated England. I think an explanation for “the studies show masks work” vs the experience of the UK, is that all the studies, apart from the single large-scale Yale study, are laboratory studies, done with crash-test dummies breathing out smoke. That’s different than the real world. The Yale study showed a small percentage point increase [0.4%) in protection from masks (7.2% infections without, vs 6.8% with). US states had similar outcomes — eg Kentucky split 50/50 in counties with/without mask mandates. There was barely any discernible difference in Covid infections.