Thousands of scientists and health experts have warned about the devastating impacts COVID-19 lockdown policies are having on people’s physical and mental health.
The Great Barrington Declaration, which has been signed by almost 6,000 scientists and medical experts around the world, along with close to 11,000 medical practitioners, warns that the “current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”
According to the declaration, the results include “lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden.”
In August, Professor Mark Woolhouse, epidemiologist at Edinburgh University and adviser to the UK Government said the attempts to control the virus through lockdown measures was a “monumental mistake on a global scale.”
Woolhouse, member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours that advises the government, described lockdown as a “panic measure” that was enacted because authorities “couldn’t think of anything better to do” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Lockdown was a panic measure,” Woolhouse said. “And I believe history will say trying to control COVID-19 through lockdown was a monumental mistake on a global scale, the cure was worse than the disease.”
According to Woolhouse, the lockdowns, which were never going to change anything fundamentally, exacerbated the situation by inflicting as much harm, if not greater harm, on society than the virus itself.
“I never want to see national lockdown again,” he said. “It was always a temporary measure that simply delayed the stage of the epidemic we see now. It was never going to change anything fundamentally, however low we drove down the number of cases, and now we know more about the virus and how to track it we should not be in this position again.
“We absolutely should never return to a position where children cannot play or go to school. I believe the harm lockdown is doing to our education, health care access, and broader aspects of our economy and society will turn out to be at least as great as the harm done by COVID-19.
“I suspect right now more people are being harmed by the collateral effects of lockdown than by COVID-19,” he added.
The Great Barrington Declaration instead suggests adopting measures to protect the vulnerable, including nursing homes, and the elderly living at home, while allowing those who are not deemed vulnerable to immediately be permitted to resume life as normal.
The declaration was authored by Dr Martin Klldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations; Dr Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modelling of infectious diseases; and Dr Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.
The declaration has also been signed by more than 150,000 members of the public.