Following Saturday’s amazing march, I have noticed many, many stroppy celebs spouting utter rubbish about how we were “selfish”, “should be patient”, or how we’ll “create a new wave with new lockdowns.”
While these screaming simpletons are not worth engaging with, I did want to summarise a response to these wails.
First, we are not selfish: we marched for all people, for our country, and for a better way of life for everyone.
Second, we did not march simply for the end of this lockdown: we marched against all that have gone and any that may be yet to come; being able to have a pint in a pub garden while wearing gloves and a parkour does not mean we have our lives back. 2 years ago, for my birthday, I had 20 friends over, we took over the local Indian restaurant, then had a number of drinks at my place, then went out dancing. This year, I no longer have my house in London, I have lost half of those friends, I cannot sit inside a restaurant, I wouldn’t be allowed to host those friends in my home, and I wouldn’t be able to go out dancing. I think there’s a bit of a difference there.
Third, we know mass gatherings outdoors pose no risk of a “new wave”: outdoor transmission is effectively impossible given how fragile the virus is; the virus is effectively no longer in circulation now; we have achieved herd immunity; and all empirical data shows us outdoor events have never created even a ripple of cases.
But. Even if they had, lockdowns would never be the answer to an uptick in cases, and I am going to take a moment to address this, returning to the core reasons for my opposition to lockdowns.
Even if lockdowns work in theory, if it is possible to control the spread of a virus through mass enforced behavioural changes, they haven’t worked in practice.
This is plain to see in all the data collected thus far: be it in each of the UK lockdowns being introduced after the peak in infections without any discernable deviation in the downward trend of cases; be it in the numerous countries that have locked down “early” only to see cases rise after locking down; be it in the numerous pairwise comparisons showing practically identical cases-per-million curves but with very different measures (e.g. Sweden vs UK); be it in the fact that the average covid mortality is higher in lockdown states in the US than in non-lockdown states; or be it in the fact that there is no signal in the noise when attempting to find a correlation between stringency of measures and covid mortality. Please tell me how that’s not enough evidence that they haven’t worked as modelled for some people.
Whether the reason they haven’t worked as modelled is low compliance, or poor nosocomial disease control, or the immunosuppressive nature of lockdowns (isolation, low exercise, poor diet, low vitamin D, anxiety, depression etc.), or a combination, or any other reason, it doesn’t really matter, because they haven’t worked.
However, even if they had worked in practice, they wouldn’t have been proportionate to the threat posed by this virus with its overwhelmingly high survival rate.
Further, nor would they have been the best method available to us for controlling the spread and the impact of this virus given how it targets certain demographics, namely the old, the obese, the vitamin D deficient, and the infirm, and given that there have been effective outpatient treatments available — such as ivermectin, as well as potential beneficial public health messages that should have been issued — such as, “get out, get some sun, supplement with vitamin D when you can’t, lose weight where it would be healthy to do so, and look after your body and mind”.
What’s more, even if these lockdowns had worked in practice to control the virus and its impacts, and they’d been proportionate, and they’d been the best method available, they still would have been unethical, as applying blanket measures to whole populations will always and inevitably lead to society’s vulnerable bearing the greatest costs, whether that’s the old and infirm, or the young and fragile. We have seen this in the care homes debacle; we have seen this in rising inequality; we have seen this in the impact on mental health; we have seen this in the denied education and vilification of our young.
There are rabbit holes and horrors galore with all of this lunacy: conspiracies; corruption; fraud; gross negligence; crimes against humanity; and others — all of which should be discussed. There has been so much wrong that has been done alongside the great public health scandal of the lockdowns themselves, but these can sometimes dilute the fundamental reasons for being against the lockdowns, or allow them to get lost along the way.
And these reasons are summarised as follows:
1) The costs of the lockdowns are enormous and they are disproportionately borne by society’s most vulnerable;
2) these costs in total far exceed the benefits gained of even a lockdown that had turned out to be as effective as models and theories had hoped;
3) the efficacy of the lockdowns in practice have fallen far short of their modelled and theoretical efficacy; and
4) there were and still are other, better options available to us.
While my position on lockdowns outlined above may be considered to be an “opinion”, it is also as much known fact as any other fundamental truth that I know of. I know these lockdowns have been a catastrophic mistake as clearly as I know that night follows day, and nothing anyone can say to the contrary at this point will ever sway me of this “opinion”: lockdowns have not ever — and never in the future will be — the right thing to do.