Jay Bhattacharya is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University.
2021-12-21, by JAYANTA Bhattacharya. Emphasis added.
The arrival of the omicron variant has led some politicians and public health grandees to call for a return to business closures and ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdowns.
My message is this: we can’t stop the spread of COVID, but we can end the pandemic.
In October 2020, I wrote the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) along with Prof. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University and Prof. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University.
The centerpiece of the declaration is a call for increased focused protection of the vulnerable older population, who are more than a thousand times more likely to die from COVID infection than the young. We can protect the vulnerable without harming the rest of the population.
As I stated above, we do not have any technology that can stop viral spread.
What about lockdowns? It is now abundantly clear that they have failed to contain the virus while wreaking enormous collateral damage worldwide... Will the same policies that failed against a more virulent strain succeed in containing a more transmissible strain? The answer is self-evidently no.
The harms of lockdown on children and the non-elderly are catastrophic, including worse physical and mental health and irretrievably lost life opportunities. Lockdowns imposed in rich countries mean starvation, poverty, and death for the residents of poor countries. There is, however, a good alternative to lockdown.
The end of the pandemic is primarily a social and political decision.
Since we have no technology to eradicate the virus, we must learn to live with it. The fear-based lockdown policies of the past two years are no template for a healthy society. In Sweden and many US states that have eschewed lockdowns, the pandemic is effectively over, even as the virus continues to circulate. As normal society resumes, the vast majority will find that living with the virus is not so hard after all.
WIND: will rational thought prevail, or will we get more doubling-down on two years of failed strategies?