Were lockdown’s necessary?

Did the medical experts get their strategy for combating the Covid- 19 pandemic right? Were the
lockdown’s necessary? Did they work?

A resounding “No” is the answer according to Edinburgh University academic Professor Mark
Woolhouse who has been advising the government about infectious diseases for 25 years. He says
“plain common sense” was a “casualty of the crisis”. Worst-case scenarios were treated as
‘predictions’ and these were the ones shown to millions of TV viewers.

He is “deeply uncomfortable with the fact that our strategy to tackle novel coronavirus did such
serious harm to children and young adults” in the form of lockdowns. He adds: “We deprived them
of their education, jobs and normal existence, as well as damaging their future prospects and leaving
them to inherit a record-breaking mountain of public debt”.

However, doctors are not part of some authoritarian conspiracy. What they’ve done is natural
behaviour for medics but maybe not properly understood by the public or politicians.

The best way to explain is as follows:
When a patient arrives in hospital critically ill, relatives will want to know the outlook. This is always
a difficult prediction and there are 2 ways of getting it wrong. Too optimistic or too pessimistic.
The former might be: “He’s going to pull through and be OK”, but if the patient subsequently dies
there will be much anger and distress.

The latter is to be preferred: “He’s probably not going to do”. If the patient then dies, then no one
has a nasty surprise. If the patient survives, there is relief and happiness all round.

So, doctors necessarily are over cautious and gloomy which is what appears to have happened with
the pandemic. For example, one Northern Ireland “expert” called for a complete lockdown for the
Omicron variant before Christmas and railed against the Executive for not doing so.

Politicians, media and the public needed but failed to understand the default mode of over-cautious
advice inherent in “expert” medical opinions.

Lockdowns had a temporary effect on Covid deaths but in reality the pandemic was not powered by
lack of lockdowns but by a combination of NHS deficiencies e.g. one of the worst intensive care bed
per 1000 of the population ratios in Europe and the “no one must ever die however old and
decrepit” mantra pervasive in modern medicine.

Time to End Lockdown?
Lockdown and the Law of Unintended Consequences

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