A Canadian professor has discovered that models that countries used as bases for Wuhan coronavirus lockdowns turned out to be problematic. He found that “a great majority” of these models were built on false assumptions. But some countries still insisted on implementing lockdown mandates grounded on these flawed models – which he found troubling.
Simon Fraser University (SFU) professor Doug Allen said in an interview that these early models “were built on a set of assumptions.” The university’s Burnaby Mountain Professor of Economics continued: “Those assumptions turned out to be really important, and the models are very sensitive to them, and they turn out to be false.”
Allen reviewed more than 80 papers on the effects of lockdowns worldwide. He subsequently compiled his findings in a paper he published in April of this year. Allen then conducted his own cost-benefit analysis based on the “life-years saved” calculation. This calculation determines the number of years of lost life lockdowns would cause compared to the number of years of lost life they would save.
According to his analysis, many of the lockdowns “tended to over-estimate the benefits and under-estimate the costs.” He found that lockdown mandates have caused 282 times more harm than benefit to Canadian society over the long term. Allen’s findings led him to conclude that lockdowns may be among “the greatest peacetime policy failures in Canada’s history.”
The professor added that most of the studies he looked at did not try to distinguish between mandated and voluntary changes in people’s behavior. These just assumed an exponential rise in daily infections until herd immunity is reached. These studies also surmised that government-mandated public health guidelines – such as business closures and restrictions on gatherings – solely caused changes in people’s behavior, he continued.
Allen elaborated that the papers he examined did not consider voluntary behavioral changes people made in response to the pandemic. He said these changes have a major impact on evaluating the merits of a lockdown policy. “Human beings make choices, and we respond to the environment that we’re in. [But] these early models did not take this into account. You don’t need lockdowns to induce people to behave that way.”
Allen lamented politicians’ continued use of these flawed models and the censorship of contrary opinions
The SFU professor noted that places with stringent lockdowns did not see any meaningful reduction in the number of COVID-19 deaths compared to places without lockdowns or with slightly looser ones. He pointed out that many places in Canada still follow the same policies set in place when the pandemic began in March of last year despite his findings.
Allen attributed this continued reliance on lockdowns to politics. He explained that politicians often take credit for having slashed COVID-19 cases by means of lockdown measures. “I think it makes perfect sense why they do exactly what they did last year,” he said.
According to the professor, any politician would not suggest a lockdown solely because “it doesn’t make a difference.” This is because “the alternative is [that politicians] have to admit that they made a mistake, and they caused … multiple more loss of life years than they saved.” Allen lamented that media outlets have carried only one side of the debate on lockdowns – while the other side had little to no coverage.
The professor also lamented how social media platforms take down views that go against the official government response. He claimed that social media sites have even censored his own study on the flawed lockdown models. “In some sense, these are private platforms [and they] can do what they want,” Allen acknowledged. (Related: SUPPRESSED: Facebook censored over 100 million posts for so-called coronavirus “misinformation.”)
“On the other hand, I feel kind of sad [that] … opposing opinions [are] either dismissed, ignored, name called [and] cancelled,” he commented.
Fortunately, Allen is not the only one voicing out opposition toward lockdown mandates. World Health Organization (WHO) Special Envoy for COVID-19 Dr. David Nabarro advised against the use of lockdowns to address COVID-19 spread in an October 2020 interview. He told Andrew Neil of The Spectator magazine: “We in the [WHO] do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus. Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.”
The envoy continued: “The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance resources [and] protect health workers who are exhausted.” (Related: WHO reverses course, again: Lockdowns as primary response to COVID-19 now said to be “damaging.”)
Visit Pandemic.news to read more articles about the use of lockdowns in response to COVID-19.
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