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A response to the response to the Great Barrington Declaration.


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On 06/01/2021 at 23:55, dgul said:

The Great Barrington Declaration was a statement made by scientists (#ILoveScience) that the right thing to do would be to protect the vulnerable and let covid rip amongst everyone else.

The government responded (with support by scientists #ILoveScience) that it was a bad idea.

But now we're 10 months in with quite a bit more data, let's see how their response looks. 

In summary, the stated problems with the Great Barrington Declaration were:

It would not be possible to prevent the virus spreading from younger people to older people.

Well, that's not a statement of the problem, but a statement of not trying hard enough to solve the problem.  There's always a solution, you've just got to have enough will to solve it.  In this case, I'd suggest locking down the older people as we're doing now, but only the older people.  Sure, they'd not like it, but no-one likes what's happening, but we have to put up with it for the good of the country and our greater population.  In addition it would need lots of detail micro-solutions (how to get them food, how to do care, how to get them to see their families), but that's detail and readily resolvable with the right will.


• A very large proportion of the population would need to withdraw from daily life for many months, which would have profound negative effect on them.

That's what we've got now.  By not doing Great Barrington we've got exactly the problem that they were worried about, but greater in magnitude and involving youngsters, who have a far greater need for social interaction and for whom the lockdown could have psychological and economic ramifications for years to come.


• An uncontrolled epidemic in younger age groups would have dire consequences for the NHS as well as having unknown long term effects in those infected.

We've now got the data.  Younger people without morbidities are hardly affected by Covid19. 

At least 3 million people have had covid (likely well over 10 million, based on government estimates) and so by now we can see that only a small minority have longer term effects beyond the 4-8 weeks that you'd expect for the minority that have had more severe symptoms (ie, similar to the longer term effects of seasonal flu).


• We do not know if long term immunity results from infection with SARS-nCOV-2

There is now substantial evidence that people get long term immunity after having even mild or asymptomatic SARS-nCOV-2.  This is at least 6-9 months (the duration of the epidemic), but estimates based on the immunity of those having had the disease suggest that the immunity might last several years.

It is relevant that there is no data supporting immunity post vaccination for longer than 6 months, although estimates based on the immunity of those that have had the vaccine also suggest a longer term immunity.


• Even if high levels of immunity could be achieved with in the younger age group, it is almost certain that a further epidemic wave in older people would happen occur once segmentation ended. 

We now have multiple vaccines that could control this post-segmentation epidemic wave. 

 

In summary, the data on Covid19 that we now have suggests that had we as a nation had adopted the protocols described in the Great Barrington Declaration we would have suffered far fewer problems for the nation's economy and the mental health of the nation's children, while controlling deaths in the older population.  Furthermore, at this stage we would have had substantial immunity across the younger population (without significant impact on the NHS) which would have subdued this winter's second wave.

Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it is useful to acknowledge that the Great Barrington Declaration's approach would have done far better than was suggested in the rebuttal.

Finally, it is always important to point out that no approach is perfect.  Neither the approach suggested in Great Barrington nor the approach adopted by UK government was likely to be optimal -- however, it is important always to consider different approaches, even if one has committed to a certain approach at a prior date; if the epidemic changes in its character, for example through viral mutations that make the vaccinations less effective, then perhaps it would be useful to revisit the Great Barrington Declaration for future nationwide strategy.

 

Very good but you’ve  missed out something - if you want this policy adopted next time, you’ll need to add a section explaining to the government (whichever colour it may be) how they can make money for their friends by adopting the policy. If not adopting it has more crony potential, then not adopting it will always win. That is the nature of British politics. 

 

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