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Impact of lockdowns/mandates


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https://www.nber.org/papers/w29928

https://sites.krieger.jhu.edu/iae/files/2022/01/A-Literature-Review-and-Meta-Analysis-of-the-Effects-of-Lockdowns-on-COVID-19-Mortality.pdf4

"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. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument."

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WALOB, Phil. First thing I do is check out the authors... fresh out of the Republican echo chamber. WTH do economists know about  epidemiology?

I can't parse how you think these authors are worthy of your attention, as a microbiologist yourself. 

A critique: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2022/02/06/did-so-called-johns-hopkins-study-really-show-lockdowns-were-ineffective-against-covid-19/

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While the criticism might be valid, I will have to say that the dat on lockdown effectiveness is a bit limited, and seems fairly region and population specific. Measuring such effects can be challenging, as we do not really have many areas with differing mandates that we could directly compare. It also depends when lockdowns are initiated. Otoh there are also studies that show that given high compliance to health mandates and effective contact tracing, the outcome might better or equal to full lockdowns. But again, what works in one country or city might not work elsewhere. That being said, there are some studies that suggest that early lockdown followed by slow opening can actively reduce infections during the previous wave. Otoh, in the US rapid lockdowns with rapid re-openings were less effective (https://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs11606-020-06345-5). 

A study in Italy found that after tight lockdowns transmission were controlled, but less rigid ones did not control movemen sufficiently (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100457). 

There are other areas which had no lockdowns and no worse outcomes, but such comparisons are very difficult to make as a lot of other factors play into reduction of transmissions. Even just imposing mandates without lockdown can be effective, provided the population takes it seriously. Conversely, and what we see now in many jurisdictions, lifting of mandates regardless of infection levels in a region, sends the signal to the population that more careless interactions are not only allowed, but perhaps even encouraged. Here, we see that the wave is getting prolonged compared to areas where mandates (not even full lockdowns) were implemented.

I might also disagree with the use of mortality as the sole endpoint, as it would ignore a lot of studies looking at transmission. However, for public health limiting spread of the disease (which lockdowns and other measures intend to curb) is one of the more critical and actionable measured and one the which most epidemiological papers investigating lockdowns are focused on (rather than the economics ones). 

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1 hour ago, PhilGeis said:

https://www.nber.org/papers/w29928

https://sites.krieger.jhu.edu/iae/files/2022/01/A-Literature-Review-and-Meta-Analysis-of-the-Effects-of-Lockdowns-on-COVID-19-Mortality.pdf4

"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. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument."

How absurd.

The main goal of covid countermeasures (the term "lockdown" is a political scare term) in many places, certainly where I live in the UK, was to prevent the health service being overwhelmed by a huge spike in infections. Having medical people in the family, I can tell you with certainty that it was a close call : it very nearly was.  No one, to my knowledge has ever called into question the fact that countermeasures reduced the height of the peak and enabled the health service to cary on functioning, through the height of the epidemic before vaccines were available.  

 

 

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There are two variables that determine whether quarantine measures are effective: consistency of application and rate of compliance.

Many governments, both local and federal, delayed in imposing wide-spread quarantine measures, travel restrictions, venue closures, etc., then did impose those measures for a while, then lifted or relaxed, or relaxed, then reimposed, then lifted, then reimposed a more relaxed version... That kind of inconsistency both reduces the effectiveness of the measures and confuses the population - and, even worse, invites a counter-offensive from the fringe religious, conspiracy nuts, anti-vaxers, libertarians, financial interests and disruptive elements that attack government on any pretext. It would have been far more effective, both in reducing fatalities and in flattening the curve, incidentally relieving the worst stress on the health care system,  to lock down fast, hard and long enough for the majority of the population to be vaccinated. 

And many citizens, including some government officials, failed to comply from the beginning and dropped all pretense of precautions as soon as they could get away with it.

Right now, there are some stores I felt safe to enter before the mandate was relaxed that I now avoid. As one who does take precautions, my activities are more constrained now than they were during the first mask, distance and quarantine mandate.   

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, StringJunky said:

WALOB, Phil. First thing I do is check out the authors... fresh out of the Republican echo chamber. WTH do economists know about  epidemiology?

I can't parse how you think these authors are worthy of your attention, as a microbiologist yourself. 

A critique: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2022/02/06/did-so-called-johns-hopkins-study-really-show-lockdowns-were-ineffective-against-covid-19/

Please - let's not invest political bias in the discussion.  Suggest you drop the ad hominem and read the assessments. 

Thanks for the critique editorial.. Afraid most of it is similarly ad hominem.

What metrics would you think best to estimate impact of lockdowns?  the articles included deaths per capita by state, in school days lost and economic impact.    Flatten the curve 'til vaccine was the original purpose but infection rates are tough to see valid as reporting enjoyed no  protocol and most likely went unreported.

Edited by PhilGeis
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6 hours ago, PhilGeis said:

"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.

 

The main reason for the lockdown was so that there would not be too many patients at the same time due to the lack of human personnel and equipment needed to rescue people with severe illness. The lockdown was meant to give scientists and biologists time to create a vaccine.

6 hours ago, PhilGeis said:

"In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument."

What a crap..

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28 minutes ago, PhilGeis said:

What metrics would you think best to estimate impact of lockdowns?  

Australia and New Zealand. While mistakes in the early days were made, generally lockdowns along with near  full vaccination levels, mandatory masks on public transport, and social distancing, limited the effects of covid. 

Those mistakes were with limited vaccine orders, which would have seen the effects in Aust and NZ even more limited.

PhilGeis said:"In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument."

3 minutes ago, Sensei said:

What a crap..

Yes, a huge load of..............

Edited by beecee
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26 minutes ago, PhilGeis said:

Please - let's not invest political bias in the discussion.  Suggest you drop the ad hominem and read the assessments. 

Thanks for the critique editorial.. Afraid most of it is similarly ad hominem.

What metrics would you think best to estimate impact of lockdowns?  the articles included deaths per capita by state, in school days lost and economic impact.    Flatten the curve 'til vaccine was the original purpose but infection rates are tough to see valid as reporting enjoyed no  protocol and most likely went unreported.

The metrics to measure the impact of countermeasures (lockdown is a political scare term)will be things like ICU occupancy rate and rate of change of R number. 

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1 minute ago, beecee said:

Yes, a huge load of..............

..politicians in western countries have made a huge mistake in bringing tourists back from holidays.. one uncaught passenger with a disease ("infected without symptoms") spread the disease throughout the country..

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On 4/21/2022 at 2:20 PM, PhilGeis said:

Please - let's not invest political bias in the discussion.

Too late, you did that when you chose to link to politically biased reports.

On 4/21/2022 at 2:20 PM, PhilGeis said:

Suggest you drop the ad hominem and read the assessments. 

It's quite clear to me he DID read the assessments, and used the erroneous stances and faulty conclusions to form his opinion, not simply because the researchers use scare tactic language and GOP talking points.

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https://www.reuters.com/world/china/shanghai-reports-12-new-covid-deaths-frustrations-boil-over-2022-04-23/

Interesting contrast to USA approach.  Note that the average age of covid deaths in Shanghai is 88, and all were unvaccinated.  Seems like a focus on universal vaxing might work better than draconian lockdowns and censoring that enrages people.

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14 minutes ago, TheVat said:

Seems like a focus on universal vaxing might work better than draconian lockdowns and censoring that enrages people.

I think the same mindset that refuses to be vaccinated out of fear of X (chips, autism, Jewish space lasers, etc) causes these same folks to view wearing masks and isolating as an affront to their freedom. A guy asked me in the store the other day why I was still wearing a mask after they lifted the mandates. I told him I'd still be wearing it for COVID 19, but in this instance it's because I have a spring cold with a cough that I didn't want to spread to others. He just nodded at me, and had nothing to say. I think he was prepared to tell me how dumb it was to wear the mask for COVID-19, but he couldn't say the same about the spring crud. I think he realized he didn't want to catch it, and I hope it made him think better about wearing masks to prevent the spread of unwanted contagions. 

And communities have been performing successful draconian lockdowns on plagues and viruses for centuries. I'm not sure what makes some modern folks so blasé about pandemic illness and death. Do we see too much of it on TV? Have we become numb to it? I'm so appalled when I hear someone defending a relative who refused to get vaccinated, caught COVID-19, ended up in the hospital, and eventually died on a respirator. They sound proud that their mama/daddy/sibling went to their grave standing by their convictions, and they'll also tell you they don't plan to get the jab either. So tell me how to make universal vaxing seem smart when some folks think they're smarter by avoiding it?

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52 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

.... and I hope it made him think better about wearing masks to prevent the spread of unwanted contagions. 

And communities have been performing successful draconian lockdowns on plagues and viruses for centuries. I'm not sure what makes some modern folks so blasé about pandemic illness and death. Do we see too much of it on TV? Have we become numb to it? I'm so appalled when I hear someone defending a relative who refused to get vaccinated, caught COVID-19, ended up in the hospital, and eventually died on a respirator. They sound proud that their mama/daddy/sibling went to their grave standing by their convictions, and they'll also tell you they don't plan to get the jab either. So tell me how to make universal vaxing seem smart when some folks think they're smarter by avoiding it?

Are you going all Japanese on us? :D In all seriousness, mask wearing as a form of social manners when infected with anything respiratory in nature could well become a common sight, like a lot of  Japanese citizens seem to do, With increasing human density, more migration and diminishing habitat, the rate of pandemics can only increase

Edited by StringJunky
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1 hour ago, TheVat said:

https://www.reuters.com/world/china/shanghai-reports-12-new-covid-deaths-frustrations-boil-over-2022-04-23/

Interesting contrast to USA approach.  Note that the average age of covid deaths in Shanghai is 88, and all were unvaccinated.  Seems like a focus on universal vaxing might work better than draconian lockdowns and censoring that enrages people.

I think a lot of this is about trust in government health measures. In China there is a lot of reluctance get vaccinated because many older people especially don't trust the Chinese government or its vaccine. A lot of the politically aggravated resistance to countermeasures in the USA is due to the same thing, in that case distrust that has been artificially whipped up. In the UK there is a very high level of trust in the public health authorities, which is why the vaccination rate is so high - AND why everyone is now so furious with Bozo for ignoring the rules, in these Downing Street parties we are hearing about. 

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23 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

With increasing human density, more migration and diminishing habitat, the rate of pandemics can only increase

This is exactly how I view it. We reap a LOT of benefits from living in dense populations, and we have to be responsible for doing our parts to keep each other safe.

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4 hours ago, exchemist said:

I think a lot of this is about trust in government health measures. In China there is a lot of reluctance get vaccinated because many older people especially don't trust the Chinese government or its vaccine.

From what I read that does not seem to be the case. Roughly speaking, surveys consistently found lower hesitancy in China compared to much of Europe or North America, though similar to the West, it increased over time. Many of the concerns are similar and are often related to perceived vaccine safety, convenience and knowledge regarding COVID-19. One additional aspect is the relative success of the early measures in China, resulting much lower transmission and deaths than elsewhere. This has increase complacency especially among the most vulnerable as over time they rated the dangers of COVID-19 lower than at the beginning, and thereby assessed the risk of vaccinations higher. 

 Another aspect is that in China there are less interactions with doctors, (presumably due to differences in the health system) and as result in China individuals on average get less recommendations to get vaccinated compared to the West.

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26 minutes ago, CharonY said:

From what I read that does not seem to be the case. Roughly speaking, surveys consistently found lower hesitancy in China compared to much of Europe or North America, though similar to the West, it increased over time. Many of the concerns are similar and are often related to perceived vaccine safety, convenience and knowledge regarding COVID-19. One additional aspect is the relative success of the early measures in China, resulting much lower transmission and deaths than elsewhere. This has increase complacency especially among the most vulnerable as over time they rated the dangers of COVID-19 lower than at the beginning, and thereby assessed the risk of vaccinations higher. 

 Another aspect is that in China there are less interactions with doctors, (presumably due to differences in the health system) and as result in China individuals on average get less recommendations to get vaccinated compared to the West.

That's interesting. I admit I was going on a newspaper report about the outbreak in Hong Kong, where it was said that many older residents had resisted vaccination, due to distrust of the government. Perhaps the report was wrong, or perhaps the attitude of Hong Kong residents is not that same as in mainland China (one can understand why it might not be). 

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1 hour ago, exchemist said:

That's interesting. I admit I was going on a newspaper report about the outbreak in Hong Kong, where it was said that many older residents had resisted vaccination, due to distrust of the government. Perhaps the report was wrong, or perhaps the attitude of Hong Kong residents is not that same as in mainland China (one can understand why it might not be). 

It could be HK specific, the studies I remember were all from mainland. Another thing I remember is that in China elderly are less likely to see a doctor when ill. Likely as going regularly to a medical professional was not a thing back in the days. 

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A friend lives in Shanghai and said that elderly there do see doctors less and are not much trusting of them.  My use of "draconian" was somewhat influenced by his account of a neighbor who tested positive and police came and nailed her door shut.  His impression was this did not foster community spirit in a big way.

There are also cultural/philosophical differences -- 88 year olds there tend to be on average pretty fatalistic that something's going to finish them off.  Not an attitude that I would disrespect, actually.

Not a good answer to @Phi for All good question about how to make universal vaxing seem smart, but that's all I have ATM.

My friend has lots of cats, so he's glad he laid in a big supply of cat food.  

 

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