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Medically Useless and Destructive Lockdowns

Part One

 

By Gary F. Zeolla


 

      Throughout this website, I use the phrase “medically useless and destructive lockdowns.” My use of that phrase shows I am not in the camp with the left and its fearmongering and overreaction to the virus. Instead, I agreed with then President Donald Trump that the lockdowns would be a case of “the cure being worse than the problem.” And in fact, the lockdowns proved to cause much more suffering than they prevented. This two-part will look at the lack of efficacy of the lockdowns and some of the problems they caused.

 

“Medically Useless Lockdowns”

 

    The following study supports my use of the first half of that phrase, “medically useless:”

 

    According to Johns Hopkins University researchers who analyzed dozens of scientific studies, the lockdowns in the early phase of the pandemic only reduced COVID-19 mortality by about 0.2%.
      In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, politicians imposed a series of stringent lockdown orders to keep people safe.
      But research shows that, at least in some cases, the supposed “cure” was actually worse than the disease. People skipped routine doctor’s appointments, became socially isolated, and the lockdowns ultimately had little to no impact in reducing the number of COVID-19 deaths (
The 6 COVID).

 

      This systematic review and meta-analysis are designed to determine whether there is empirical evidence to support the belief that “lockdowns” reduce COVID-19 mortality. Lockdowns are defined as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI). NPIs are any government mandate that directly restrict peoples’ possibilities, such as policies that limit internal movement, close schools and businesses, and ban international travel.

      This study employed a systematic search and screening procedure in which 18,590 studies are identified that could potentially address the belief posed. After three levels of screening, 34 studies ultimately qualified.

      Of those 34 eligible studies, 24 qualified for inclusion in the meta-analysis. They were separated into three groups: lockdown stringency index studies, shelter-in-place-order (SIPO) studies, and specific NPI studies. An analysis of each of these three groups support the conclusion that lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality.

      More specifically, stringency index studies find that lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average. SIPOs were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average. Specific NPI studies also find no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.

      While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted (John Hopkins. Literature Review).

 

      Despite the overall findings, there was some evidence to indicate that closing bars helped reduce deaths, the researchers found.

      “Closing nonessential businesses seems to have had some effect (reducing COVID-19 mortality by 10.6%), which is likely to be related to the closure of bars,” they said.

      According to the researchers, the timing of lockdowns, and their unintended consequences, may play a larger role in affecting mortality than expected.

      “Lockdowns have limited peoples’ access to safe (outdoor) places such as beaches, parks and zoos, or included outdoor mask mandates or strict outdoor gathering restrictions, pushing people to meet at less safe (indoor) places,” they wrote. “Indeed, we do find some evidence that limiting gatherings was counterproductive and increased COVID-19 mortality” (Newsmax. Johns Hopkins Researchers).

 

My Comments:

      Bars are different than most other indoor gatherings, as people are often packed in closed together indoors, and they move around between groups, potentially infecting multiple groups of people. They are also drinking throughout their time in a bar, so mask wearing is not possible. That is different from restaurants, where people generally stay seated at their own tables and only interact with the group they came with. The tables are also usually spaced apart, so there is little chance of those at one table infecting those at another table. Only the waitress moving from table to table presents a risk of cross-contamination. But that can be mitigated somewhat by her wearing a mask and not getting too close to customers.

    That difference is important, as there was a lot of fighting here in Pennsylvania over lockdown orders that targeted bars but not restaurants. The attempt to distinguish between the two made for many questionable orders. But this study shows that attempt was not so crazy, as the right made it out to be. But that attempt to isolate bars for lockdowns is the only part of the lockdowns that made any sense. Most all other lockdowns pushed by the left had little effect on Covid. Especially nonsensical were lockdown of outdoor spaces, as transmission of Covid is minimal in outdoor settings. Closures of schools were also nonsensical, as children are at little risk from Covid.

     That is why this research by John Hopkins is astounding but not surprising. The lockdowns only reduced Covid mortality by 0.2%, yet they caused much needless suffering and economic hardship. I would also argue that tiny percentage of saved lives was offset by the increased risk from Covid due to the “Quarantine 15” – the fact that many people gained weight due to the lockdowns, putting them at higher risk from Covid. They also kept people inside, reducing their sun exposure and thus vitamin D levels, also increasing their risk from Covid. I previously documented that being overweight and low vitamin D status are the second and third greatest risk factors for serious illness form Covid, with increasing age being number one.

      The lockdowns of gyms contributed to that Quarantine 15. Just as bad was the effect it had on gyms, with one-third of gyms nationwide closing permanently. That is a lot of ruined lives and shattered dreams for those gym owners and their employees. Though many are now coming back, according to a report on my local ABC affiliate (WTAE on November 13, 2022).

      In any case, despite the importance of this lockdowns study, the mainstream media ignored it, probably because they were at the forefront of pushing the lockdowns with their fearmongering.

 

      However, the Johns Hopkins study received no mention on any of the five liberal networks this week. According to Grabien transcripts, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC all ignored the anti-lockdown findings after having spent much of the pandemic shaming red states with minimal restrictions and events deemed by critics as “superspreaders.”

      It wasn’t just the networks avoiding the study. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, Axios, Politico among other outlets also turned a blind eye to the findings, according to search results (Fox News. CNN).

 

Predictable:

    Worse is all, this lack of effectiveness of lockdowns was predictable:

 

      “Without a vaccine, the only way people can become immune to Covid-19 is by catching it and recovering,” Just Facts wrote. “This means that too much social distancing may cause more deaths because young, healthy people — who would otherwise catch the disease, recover quickly, and become firewalls — remain as potential carriers.” …

      James D. Agresti, the president and co-founder of Just Facts, told Fox News Digital that it was clear from the beginning that “15 days to slow the spread” would not work in the long run because contagious diseases will spread as soon as preventative measures are dropped….

      “By that point [January 2022] there was already data being published about the mortality rate of people of different age groups,” Agresti said about the early days of the pandemic. “And when I started studying the numbers on children and looking at what the risks were to other things that they died from, whether it’s drowning in accidents, car accidents, the flu, you know, it was eminently clear that COVID-19 posed a lower risk to them than the ordinary risk of life that we never locked children down for in the history of the world.” …

      “Elderly people and those with chronic ailments — who are the very definition of nursing home residents — are extremely vulnerable to the virus,” Just Facts documented in August 2020, citing a MedRxiv study. “The virus is highly transmissible, and thus, it can easily sweep through large groups of sickly and/or aged people who live together.”…

      “Locking people inside is probably the worst thing you can do because it spreads inside,” Agresti said. “Besides the horror of locking people in the waning years of their life away from their family and friends you are also away from outdoors and sunlight and beautiful days. It was utterly destructive” (Fox business. Eight times)

 

Related Observations:

    I knew the lockdowns would not work for one simple reasons--people have to eat. Sooner or later, they need to go out to buy food or at least have it delivered. Even the latter could lead to infection, as the person receiving the package might have contact with the delivery person, and surfaces can carry the virus. That is why I advocated disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and washing one’s hands after opening packages.

 

      For what they say is the first time, British researchers report that they have found the spread of COVID-19 in households is linked to the presence of the virus on hands and surfaces, not just in the air.

      The investigators collected data from households at the height of the pandemic, finding that people were much more likely to get COVID-19 from someone in their house if virus was present on hands or frequently touched places, like refrigerator door handles or sink faucets (Newsmax. Study).

 

      Thus, I was correct in that recommendation. But for the point here, at some point, people had to go out, if not for good than for sanity’s sake. And when they did, they would be susceptible. You just could keep people locked down indefinitely.

      Although, there was an end point, that of when the vaccines became available. The original estimate was that it would take a year to one and a half years for them to become available. I knew people could not endure being locked down that long.

      Thanks to Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed,” it ended up being only nine months until the vaccines were available. I knew Trump’s plan would work. That is why I was very protective of my then 84-year-old father. I figured if I could just keep him safe through 2020, by early 2021, he would be among the first to get vaccinated, and I could stop worrying about him. I encouraged him to stay at home as much as possible, and did much of the grocery shopping for him.

    Note that shelter-in-place-orders did have a bit of effectiveness, reducing deaths by 2.9%. But that percentage looked at everyone being forced to stay at home. If it only considered ultra-seniors like my father, such orders might have been shown to be much more effective, as those at little risk didn't need to be protected.

      As it turned out, due to the horrid vaccine distribution here in PA due to the incompetence of our then Secretary of Health Rachel (really Richard) Levin, it was not until March 2021 that my father was fully vaccinated. But still, that was just a year of his life, and now, at 87, he is still with us and doing just fine.

      But then Levin failed upward into the Biden administration, and we got a real and competent woman as Secretary of Health (Alison Beam), and our vaccine distribution greatly improved, and I got vaccinated in May 2021. And neither my father nor I ever got Covid.

 

Extended the Pandemic:

      However, the preceding is about people my dad’s age or even my age (now 62). For those younger than us, there was no reason to lock them down. They were at little risk from Covid, unless they had specific comorbidities. But for those who did not, the lockdowns prevented them from attaining natural immunity.

      What should have happened is the younger generations should have been left free to live their lives as usual, get infected, maybe be sick for a couple of days, then they would be immune. Then when the older generation got vaccinated, that would have been the end of Covid, by the summer of 2021. That is so, as originally both the vaccines and natural immunity were very effective at preventing infection (or reinfection in the latter case).

      However, as it was, with the lockdowns preventing the younger generations from attaining natural immunity, that gave the virus a vector to continue to circulate and to mutate. Those resultant new variants (Delta and Omicron) unnecessarily extended the pandemic well into 2022. And now, the ever-mutating virus prevents both natural and vaccine immunity from being protective against infection.

      Consequently, not only did the lockdowns not save any lives, but they enabled the virus to gain a foothold with those mutations, and we still have it with us today, and probably always will. In other words, we might not have entered the endemic phase of Covid that we are now in if it were not for the lockdowns, with 1,000 per week still dying from Covid.

      Moreover, those lockdowns caused many other problems that are also still with us today.

 

“Destructive Lockdowns”

 

      The “destructive” part of my phrase is seen in multiple ways:

 

Overdose Deaths, Drinking, Unemployment:

 

      From May 2020 to April 2021, the U.S. recorded 100,306 drug overdose deaths, a 28.5% increase from the previous year, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed. The unemployment rate peaked nationwide at 14.8% in April 2020, Congressional Research Service found (Newsmax. Lockdowns Reduced).

 

    Dr. Brian Lamb, an internal medicine physician for Allegheny Health Network, said overall drinking increased during the pandemic across the country, because there weren’t a lot of other things to do and it became a way to relieve anxiety...

    Dr. Duncan Clark, professor of psychiatry, school of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh ... said abusing alcohol can create family problems and lead to mental health issues. People sometimes think drinking will help with situations such as anxiety and depression because initially, one might feel more energy and then feel a sedating effect. Alcohol can disrupt the quality of sleep and other daily functions, according to experts (Trib Live. Dry January).

 

    People lost  their jobs due to the lockdowns. That led them to get depressed and anxious and to use illicit drugs or to abuse alcohol in a futile attempt to deal with those mental health issues. That drug and alcohol abuse then lead to a variety of other problems, including accidental overdoes and suicides.

 

Other Diseases Caused to Rise:

      The lockdowns caused the influenza and RSV crises we experienced in the winter of 2022-23, as few attained natural immunity over the preceding two years to those illnesses due to the lockdowns. The following New York Post (NYP) article is from June 14, 2022. It predicts what we saw over the succeeding months.

 

      Children are becoming infected with up to three different viruses at the same time after widespread COVID-19 lockdowns eviscerated their immune systems, doctors have warned.

      Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital in Connecticut has reported staggering numbers of young patients with cases of the adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus, influenza, and parainfluenza — in addition to COVID-19, the Washington Post reported….

      An uptick in cases of the flu and severe colds throughout the winter months is expected, but experts say the warm summer months aren’t seeing the same downturn in illnesses as previous years….

      Medics believe this could be a direct result of the strict pandemic regulations the world lived through in 2020 and 2021 — because we haven’t had a chance to build immunity to common viruses through exposure.

      “All of these decisions have consequences,” [Thomas] Murray [an infection control expert and associate professor of pediatrics at Yale] told the Washington Post.

      “It’s a massive natural experiment,” added Michael Mina, an epidemiologist and chief science officer at the digital health platform eMed.

      In addition, health professionals told the Washington Post they are concerned that some viruses may be surging in children because they missed out on primary care throughout the pandemic, as well as vaccinations not relating to COVID-19 (NYP. Kids infected).

 

      It is not just immunity to respiratory illnesses that was not attained due to the lockdowns but also to other illness, leading to a rise in liver disease among children:

 

      It’s a bit of an old story but remember all the kids who contracted serious liver issues once the lockdowns began to ease and the vaccines rolled out? Well, it happened. Some kids needed to have liver transplants. Was this a side effect of the COVID vaccine? That theory floated around for a while but was something much worse. It was the lockdowns themselves. It’s part of the endless stream of nonsensical COVID precautions that arguably did more harm to these kids than the actual virus. In the United States, an estimated 60 percent of adults and three-fourths of kids have recovered from the disease. It wasn’t some superbug. Keeping kids away from viruses they would have contracted at school, like the common cold, and acquiring natural immunity could have prevented this spate of liver issues (via BBC) (Townhall. Here’s).

 

      The two teams of researchers, from London and Glasgow, say infants exposed later than normal - because of Covid restrictions - missed out on some early immunity to:

 

         adenovirus, which normally causes colds and stomach upsets

         adeno-associated virus two, which normally causes no illness and requires a coinfecting “helper” virus - such as adenovirus - to replicate

 

      That could explain why some developed the unusual and worrying liver complications (BBC. Likely).

 

     Do not miss that Covid antivaxxers immediately blamed the vaccines for the increase in liver disease. But actual research demonstrated it was the lack of natural immunity caused by the lockdowns causing the problem. Remember this when antivaxxers claim other health problems are caused by the Covid vaccines. Actual research will most likely eventually demonstrate there is another cause entirely.

 

    This two-part article is concluded at: Medically Useless and Destructive Lockdowns: Part Two.

 

References:

    See end of Part Two.


God-given Foods Eating Plan
For Lifelong Health, Optimization of Hormones, Improved Athletic Performance

    The approach of this book is to study different foods and food groups, with a chapter devoted to each major classification of foods. First the Biblical evidence is considered, then the modern-day scientific research is reviewed. Foods are then classified as “God-given foods” and “non-God-given foods.” The main point will be a healthy eating plan is composed of a variety of God-given foods and avoids non-God-given foods.


 

References:

      See Update on Covid Deaths (Refuting Covid Lies by the Right and Fearmongering by the Left): References.

Medically Useless and Destructive Lockdowns: Part one. Copyright 2023 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).


The above article was first posted on this website January 13, 2023.
It was updated and expended on December 13, 2023.

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