We Won’t Count the True Cost of Lockdowns Until We Recognise Their Criminal Nature.
Last Spring governments across the world subjected whole societies, without their consent, to a public health and societal experiment. The measures adopted and their extremity have never been seen in modern times and their consequences are likely to reverberate for generations to come. Lockdowns — a term originally used to describe the confinement of prisoners to their cells and now being sold as a necessary measure to liberate us from death caused by a respiratory illness — were enforced across entire countries and regions with no prior assessment of the impact on societies and no scientific evidence that they would save lives.
Public health bodies are societies’ doctors — they are bound by the same professional ethics
To appreciate how deranged this experiment is, imagine the following scenario. On returning from a holiday in an exotic land, you begin to feel unwell and visit your doctor complaining of flu-like symptoms. On hearing the location of your holiday, your doctor assumes the worst — that you have contracted an illness unlike any seen before and for which there is no cure, despite the fact that the virus causing the illness falls within the family of coronaviruses long familiar to modern medicine.
Your doctor, in a state of panic (the last thing you want from a doctor), prescribes a drug, found through a google search, that was invented by a 14-year old during a high school science project. The drug has never been subjected to clinical trials and has never been considered for use by any respectable medical licensing authority let alone approved by the national drug licencing authority or by the professional body that governs the doctor’s conduct.
Not only does the above analogy align with the recklessness of the worldwide lockdown experiments but it illustrates why things are going horribly wrong in the countries subjected to this cruel experiment. Everyone understands that, even if you were lucky enough not to suffer harmful side effects from your doctor’s reckless experiment, he would be liable to sanctions from his professional body. If you were to suffer harm, criminal proceedings against the doctor would almost certainly be a forgone conclusion.
The lawyers and qualified experts who wrote this letter to leading intelligence agencies understand this only too well. Lockdowns were ordered in January 2020 in the Hubei province of China by the Chinese Communist Party Leader Xi Jinping. Within days after the CCP lockdown began, and long before it had produced any results, it was being praised by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (who incidentally is the subject of a complaint lodged at the International Criminal Court over allegations of aiding genocide in Ethiopia). By February 2020, China was reporting a drop in cases and the WHO’s Assistant Director-General publicly advocated “you have to do this”. This advocacy had no scientific basis since a connection between the reported drop in cases and the Chinese lockdown had not been proven. With reliable studies now emerging, we know that this reckless advocacy was based on a post hoc fallacy.
The opinion of the legal and medical professionals who wrote this letter to leading intelligence agencies is:
“The conclusion by the world’s foremost public health body was, at best, criminally negligent.”
In October 2020, the WHO backtracked on its criminally negligent advice when Dr David Nabarro, the WHO’s special envoy on COVID-19, publicly urged world leaders to stop using lockdowns stating:
“Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.”
One of the reasons why such a huge number of people don’t seem to grasp the criminal nature of the WHO’s encouragement of lockdowns and governments’ decisions to follow its advice, is perhaps best summed up in the words of Carl Sagan:
“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”
A public drenched in fear and uninformed of even the most basic aspects of the science behind respiratory virus transmission have agreed to anything and everything that criminally incompetent governments have imposed on them in the last year. There is a general failure by the public to appreciate that their public health authorities, our societial ‘doctors’, are morally, ethically and professionally prohibited from advocating measures not backed by science. Lockdowns were never part of the pandemic-preparedness plans of OECD countries for the simple reason that there was no scientific basis for them. Right up to the moment that we were ordered to stay at home, it was well understood that, using Roger Koops’ epigrammatic expression, stopping humans from being human would not stop this virus from being a virus.
“It’s a unique experiment, and it’s a terrible experiment. I’m amazed — as are many of my colleagues — at the total focus on this disease. In a short time, we are throwing all the principles of public health out the window. Most countries in Europe had a pandemic-preparedness plan which did not recommend lockdowns, but instead proposed a risk-based strategy to protect those at high risk, which is actually the same as the focused protection we put forward in the Great Barrington Declaration. What we are proposing is, therefore, nothing revolutionary.”
In other words, in the inverted reality in which we now live, the views of a group of scientists advocating for nothing more than the agreed scientific approach are being rejected while an unscientific and reckless approach supported by government scientists has been pushed in decision-making circles as the only option available.
Another reason why such a huge number of people don’t seem to grasp the criminal nature of the World Health Organisation’s encouragement of lockdowns and governments’ decisions to follow its advice is that most of us went mad together. There is a tendency for humans to believe that what is ‘normal’ is simply that which is done by the majority. This collective madness has conferred in the public mind a measure of acceptability on what is in reality a highly abnormal act of self-harm on a global scale. Except, we didn’t all go mad together. Some countries and states remained sane. And it’s these examples that provide us with the scientific proof that lockdowns don’t work.
The science that condemns lockdowns
In order to scientifically prove whether an intervention works, you must conduct a trial in which the intervention is observed in one group and then compared with a control group which has not been subjected to the intervention. If a statistically significant difference does not arise between the groups, you can safely conclude that the intervention is useless. The results of this reckless real world experiment on lockdowns are in — it has blown up in our faces.
With at least 29 studies concluding that lockdowns don’t work, it’s excruciatingly difficult to understand how lockdown proponents can continue to blindly worship this false god, particularly when the issue is not simply that they don’t prevent deaths but that they are literally adding to the death toll. All the scientific evidence shows that lockdowns don’t save lives, they take lives. The latest peer reviewed study, arguably the most authoritative of all, was published in January 2021 by a world-class team led by Professor John Ioannidis of Stanford University, one of the world’s most respected epidemiologists. Its conclusions are unambiguous: harsh measures like lockdowns do not reduce the spread of infections.
Sweden continues to defy the doomsday predictions of lockdown cheerleaders. It is a good comparison for the UK — slightly more urbanised than the UK (87.7% vs 83.4%) and with Stockholm having a similar population density to London. Sweden’s per capita deaths were in line with the European average in 2020 and it experienced almost no excess mortality in 2020.
This analysis of Sweden in Spiked Online reminds us that:
“When Sweden decided not to lockdown in March, we were told it would lead to nearly 100,000 deaths by 1 July. The actual total ended up being 5,490. Infections and deaths were falling from mid-April, pretty much at the same time as in most other European countries with strict lockdowns.”
The same analysis does not duck the resurgence of cases in Sweden from September to mid-January. Modest restrictions were introduced which did not include lockdown. The latest result of these modest restrictions:
“Yet from the end of December, Sweden has experienced the same steady decline in cases as elsewhere.”
And what do we find when we compare Sweden’s death rate up to the beginning of February 2021 to Scotland, where lockdowns have been severe? Sweden’s Covid-related death rate stands at 1,170 per million — almost exactly the same as Scotland’s rate of 1,168. This absence of any discernible impact of lockdowns on death is reflected in the numerous studies I have referred to including arguably the most authoritative one led by Professor Ioannidis. Inter-state comparisons in the US deliver a similar blow to lockdown voodoo — states that eschewed lockdown are doing no worse, and in some cases better, than the lockdown states.
So let’s be clear about what this means: Covid deaths in the UK and around the world would have happened regardless and, crucially, they would not have been greater in the absence of lockdowns. But lockdowns aren’t neutral in their effect. Not only do they have zero impact on Covid deaths, but they cause additional deaths. Lockdowns are deadly. Even if it could be proven that lockdowns had an impact on Covid mortality, you would have to carefully weigh the damage done by lockdowns against the benefits. It is an extremely blunt instrument and the general public’s lack of appreciation of its harms has led to an electorate that favours decapitation as the answer to a headache. It doesn’t help that those driving lockdown policy in government and academia remain economically unscathed and, in fact, the finances of the better-off groups have improved as much of their spending has been put on hold while they continue to work from home.
The litany of lockdown woe
Lockdowns were sprung without even a cursory attempt at counting the cost and so a litany of lockdown woe is a standing feature of anti-lockdown writing. However, every time I do it, I find disturbing new facts to crush my already battered faith in humanity. Before we survey the ruins it’s worth reminding ourselves of one of the key characteristics of Covid morbidity.
The average age of death from or with Covid in England and Wales is 83 (click on the excel link). The average life expectancy is 81.25. The position up to January 15th, 2021 is that 75% of deaths ‘involving Covid’ have occurred among people aged 75 years and over. It’s therefore no exaggeration to characterise Covid as being, statistically, more of an end-of-life illness. You have to ask: have we burnt the house down in a futile bid to end a largely end-of-life illness? Here are some of the consequences of our immolation:
Unemployment and poverty. The data from September shows a continued rise in UK unemployment to 2.7m, resulting in a net increase of 1.5m unemployment claims vs. pre-lockdown. That’s a 125% increase in unemployment claims. The latest data release shows that since February 2020, 828,000 people have fallen off the payroll and the UK unemployment rate in the three months to November 2020 increased to 5.0%, 1.2 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
The argument that we should not prioritise the economy over lives is deranged sloganeering that belongs in the same league as ‘war is peace’ and ‘freedom is slavery’ because our livelihood is dependent on economic activity. A 1979 study concluded that for every 10 percent increase in unemployment, mortality increased by 1.2 percent. The Foundation for Economic Research stresses that “there are a multitude of reasons mortality risk increases during periods of unemployment, but the primary reason appears to be that unemployment literally makes people sick.” Equating economies and employment with livelihood is a trade-off humans made some 10,000 years ago when we transitioned from hunter-gathering to farming and then civilisational living.
Poverty: In the UK, an additional 690,000 Brits have fallen into poverty as a result of the economic fallout from shutting down the economy. Of this 690,000, an astonishing 270,000 have fallen into the deepest form of poverty. Half of children entitled to free school meals did not have access to the scheme during the Covid-19 lockdown in the UK. As if that wasn’t bad enough, governments worldwide have done their bit to increase the risk that an additional 130 million more could go hungry as a result of economies being ground to a halt by restrictive measures.
Domestic violence. A 60% increase in emergency calls from women subjected to violence by their intimate partner has been reported in the World Health Organization Europe member states. In the UK, two thirds of domestic abuse victimswere subjected to more violence from their partners during lockdown. Three quarters of women commented that lockdown made it much more difficult to escape their abusive partners. The police received one domestic violence call every 30 seconds in the initial seven weeks of lockdown — which included reports from both men and women of kidnap, arson, revenge porn and poisoning.
Blocked access to healthcare killing many more: Up to October 2020, 3 million missed cancer screenings, resulting in an estimated loss of 60,000 life-years over the next 5–10 years, before we even begin counting the cost of a referral backlog in the millions that will both shorten lives and reduce quality of life.
Social isolation. This is the conclusion of a study titled “Rapid Systematic Review: The Impact of Social Isolation and Loneliness on the Mental Health of Children and Adolescents in the Context of COVID-19”:
“Children and adolescents are probably more likely to experience high rates of depression and most likely anxiety during and after enforced isolation ends. This may increase as enforced isolation continues. Clinical services should offer preventive support and early intervention where possible and be prepared for an increase in mental health problems.”
Mental Health: Based on a YouGov National Poll on Addiction Behaviours in Lockdown, Action on Addiction finds that:
“39% of people surveyed who were in recovery from an addiction prior to lockdown have experienced a relapse or a re-occurrence of their addictive behaviour since lockdown. On a national scale, this may mean more than one million people have experienced some form of relapse during lockdown.”
This paper in the QJM Journal of Medicine titled “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates” warns that:
“Social isolation, anxiety, fear of contagion, uncertainty, chronic stress and economic difficulties may lead to the development or exacerbation of depressive, anxiety, substance use and other psychiatric disorders in vulnerable populations…Stress-related psychiatric conditions including mood and substance use disorders are associated with suicidal behavior…The COVID-19 crisis may increase suicide rates during and after the pandemic. Mental health consequences of the COVID-19 crisis including suicidal behavior are likely to be present for a long time and peak later than the actual pandemic.”
Personal accounts of the victims of lockdown
All of the above facts, stark and depressing as they are, are a generalisation of the suffering that is being inflicted on societies. Beneath the statistics are harrowing stories of personal suffering. Here are a few summaries of the personal accounts of the impact of lockdown from Recovery Campaign:
A retired police officer became ill in January 2020 and eventually had a heart scan in April 2020. He was in desperate need of care but his GP refused to see him face to face, then lost his scan, then told him he wasn’t sure how to refer him on to a specialist as it was lockdown. He wasn’t seen face to face until he and his partner made a 999 call in June. He died of heart failure on June 15th within 24 hours of that call. His partner emailed their MP, who glossed over the facts and sent his condolences.
A self-employed carpenter has seen his business plummet and has been excluded from any financial help, which has left a huge hole in his finances. The worst consequence of lockdown for this family, however, has been the closures of schools. His eldest child, a once bright, energetic and ambitious 13 year old, cannot get out of bed in the mornings and has slipped into a mental health abyss with no or little access to her teachers and no access to her friends. Things came to a head in November when to the family’s horror, their once energetic and happy girl started to hurt herself by slicing parts of her body. The father of this traumatised family has made a plea that too many parents wish could be heard:
“Quite frankly my family has suffered more by the intolerable Covid measures than we have by a virus. Reopen the schools and leave our kids to heal.”
This from the relative of a cancer sufferer diagnosed too late as a result of blocked access to healthcare:
“My uncle — early 70s — found blood in his urine last Feb . It was Oct before he was fully tested and diagnosed. [The NHS response:] ‘Sorry, Stage 4, nothing to be done. We cannot say for certain that the delay made any difference.’ I bloody can!”
This from a person who lives with their 80 year-old mother and describes the despair of her elderly parent who is in palliative care:
“My mother, 80 years old, in palliative care keeps asking me what’s the point in continuing after being locked down for 10 months…She is most distressed that she can’t see her son and her grandsons who live six miles up the road. She would rather see them and take a risk than this. In the meantime, I’m waiting for a hospital appointment for a chronic diagnosis. People demanding we all stay locked down obviously have no empathy for anyone outside their own circumstances — [it] should be a personal choice.”
This woman was a taxi controller up until March 23rd, 2020. She loved her job because it was highly compatible with her disabilities. After losing her job, how have the last 10 months been for her?
“Just awful. Stuck in the house almost 24/7 with a husband I could barely stand the days he was home when he worked in the office. No friends or social life which I need for my sanity. I’ve had so many breakdowns where the tears won’t stop… I’m at the point where I’d rather have Covid and die than carry on.”
The consequence of surrendering power to the state — infantilisation and authoritarianism.
All of these stories, particularly the last one, highlight not only the suffering caused by lockdown but also that Covid has heralded a new age in which no-one is permitted to assess health risks for themselves and to choose a course of action that balances individual needs against personal risk and risk to others. We have been infantilised and when we allow the state to take this decision out of our hands, it will opt for a very blunt one-size-fits-all solution which in reality does not even end up serving a slim majority.
The act of surrendering your power and agency to the state in return for a promise that it will remove the risks you fear creates a tacit contract in which you will then blame the state if it fails to remove those risks. It is, naturally, impossible for the state to remove all risks for all people. However, a state empowered to do whatever it deems fit to achieve the impossible in order to avoid blame will first embark on a pretence of shielding its infantilised electorate from dangers it really has no control over and, second, grab any additional power it can in the process. The end result of the illusory quest for total safety is the strangulation of the majority and a government with far more power than is appropriate for a so-called democracy.
By vastly exaggerating the public health threat and exploiting the power of public fear to place the entire nation under house arrest, the government has created the illusion that all risk has been removed. The reality we are waking up to is pain, suffering and the destruction of lives on an enormous scale compounded by a lurch down a road that leads to authoritarian control. An essential catalyst for this terrifying lurch is that the majority of people are complicit because they don’t recognise it is happening.
The more you come to terms with the horror, the harder it is to express your outrage in words. The very absence of outrage in the mainstream media and the population at large becomes a new source of outrage. Retch-inducing BBC propaganda beseeches you to imagine the pandemic as a flower while the mainstream media flashes a daily Covid death count in neon lights. Should we start a macabre daily death count for all other causes of death? In reality, an abuse of the general public’s “fundamental misunderstanding of how we live with germs”, as Oxford epidemiologist and lockdown sceptic Sunetra Gupta, understatedly puts it, has ignited a global physical and psychological trauma.
The government continues to deny the truth but the tide is coming in
The realisation that the pill was always destined to be far worse than the ill may be gathering momentum in the US. If lockdown supporters are prepared to come to terms with this truth, they will undoubtedly hedge their embarrassment with the standard excuse about hindsight being a wonderful thing and that no other decision was possible at the time with the information available. This can’t be a valid response if Donald Trump, who doesn’t read, was one of the first to point this out, along with world-renowned epidemiologist John Ioannides, before the lockdown chainsaw was wielded with absolutely no science to back it.
At the end of January 2021, the UK government published a report estimating that the total number of additional deaths caused by the enormous disruption to non-Covid NHS care, as well as the economic downturn, will eventually be 105,000. It also estimates that, by the time the pandemic is over, Covid itself will have killed 117,000 in the UK. The integrity of these estimates has not been established and they will be pored over for years to come. In my last blog I tried to shine a light on the incredibly shaky foundations on which Covid death statistics are built. As if to punctuate that shakiness, I now discover that not only do we have to contend with the dubiousness of counting Covid mortality as all ‘deaths within 28 days of a positive PCR test’, but that qualified doctors have been certifying deaths as Covid deaths even when they have been preceded by a negative test based on an assumption and not a reasonable diagnosis. This adds weight to the arguments I have made about the disappearance of flu being more likely attributable to misdiagnosis.
It seems clear that there is not a single coherent thread of truth in the government’s Covid narrative. It is a Russian doll of lies, each lie housing another lie, from scientifically baseless and murderous lockdowns, to scandalously unreliable PCR testing used to drive hysteria, to death counts designed to overstate Covid mortality (linked to the scandalous PCR test), to the disappearance of flu (linked to an inflated Covid death count), to vaccine trials which excluded prevention of disease transmission as an end point but which instead herald a new era of total control through immunity passports.
And now, tossed into the fetid pile of lies is a claim in the government’s January 2021 report that the Covid death toll would have been twice as high absent lockdowns. Not only is it impossible to prove this counterfactual claim, but the complete opposite — lockdowns have no effect on Covid mortality — has been proven with credible scientific studies comparing the outcomes of restrictions across different countries and regions that imposed varying levels of restrictions from very modest (not locking down whole societies) through to the most severe.
The main, if not sole, purpose of the government’s recent report on Covid collateral damage is to lay down a spurious marker that things would have been worse without lockdowns. That marker is like a faint footprint in the sand just before the tide comes in. It will not last. As the tide of collateral lockdown damage comes in, it will be impossible to understate the case against lockdowns. Arguing in favour of lockdowns is the 21st century equivalent of arguing that the world is flat. It remains to be seen how much longer humanity will remain in flat earth territory.