What If …..?

Australia has claimed elimination of Covid-19 across locations who spent months locked down over winter. Apparently lockdown has been a highly effective disease control strategy. There are jubilant scenes as people leave their houses and reclaim their freedoms. It is pandemic sacrilege but I am really struggling to buy into the collective belief that viral control occurred through enforced lockdown.

What about other influences? I’ve shared this before, but today I share it with two words circled in red.

It seems that all other possible factors are being completely ignored in favour of the idea that customs of staying at home under strict conditions, closing economic and social activity, and wearing material over our face are why this specific virus has disappeared for now.

What of other possibilities?

  • Two thirds of Australia’s cases and almost 90% of our 907 Covid deaths have occurred in the southern state of Victoria.
  • 72% of Australia’s Covid deaths occurred in nursing homes.
  • Almost all of Victoria’s deaths occurred at the end of winter and the virus has been eliminated at the beginning of summer.
  • In tropical northern Australia almost all of the tiny numbers of detected cases have been in arriving travellers, with almost no local transmission. This is similar to patterns in tropical parts of Asia where population structure and lifestyles are quite different.
  • What happened to influenza, which has allegedly and mysteriously disappeared?
  • In high school I learned that New Zealand and Japan share very similar geography including similar geographical coordinates, only one is north and the other south; similar climates and similar mountainous terrains.
    New Zealand has less than 5 million people, low density lifestyle, and about 15% of people over 65 years old.
    Japan has over 126 million people, high density lifestyle, and almost 30% of people are over 65 years old.
    These countries have implemented quite different approaches to Covid-19 control and both have seen very low rates of Covid.
  • A growing body of evidence suggests that some populations in Asia have much higher protective immunity than northern hemisphere populations. African populations seem similarly protected. What if Australia and New Zealand also have some sort of resistance, immunity or environmental protection leading to lower rates of disease?

Of course control measures have an impact, and a range of control measures can be effective. However I am flummoxed that World Health Organisation and other public health agencies continue to promote the idea that only stringent measures are influencing this disease. That seems to be clearly incorrect. It also ignores the basic public health tenets of aiming for the most benefit to the most people and never only focusing on a single issue or disease.

Whilst the illusion of lockdown success is maintained, we all remain at risk of ongoing restrictions to our freedom and security. This worries me given the colossal destruction being caused to millions of people who are vulnerable to severe lockdown harms far more than Covid harms. This is being chronicled at The Price of Panic and Collateral Global.

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