If you haven’t heard of The Great Barrington Declaration, check it out HERE.
Three world-class epidemiologists, from Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford, created this guideline for dealing with C-19 (properly named SARS-CoV-2) that has been largely ignored.
If fact, these leading scientists and experts in infectious disease have been maligned and ridiculed and accused of political bias - which is funny when you hear about their actual politics.
Ontario MD, Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill, co-founder of Concerned Ontario Doctors, organized a nearly 2-hour interview, moderated by former Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province of Ontario, Dr. Richard Schabas, where these scientific giants answer 8 questions that you’ve probably had about C-19 and our collective response.
I know I know.
I recommend watching it in 15-minute increments, just getting one question answered at a time.
There is so much more than excellent information in this intelligent and reasoned recording.
There is the respectful, nuanced, collegial discussion that we’ve been missing.
Honestly, I found the tone and sense of curiosity so refreshing that the information was almost secondary.
Here are just some of the highlights…
They were an experiment.
There was never any evidence that they worked.
Now there’s evidence that they don’t work.
“Lockdowns are focused protection of the rich….It’s the poor and working class that have born the brunt of the disease, and born the epidemiological …cost of achieving herd immunity….The lockdowns have not worked, and in many ways, it’s the most regressive economic and public health policy I have ever seen in my lifetime.” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya
On Asymptomatic Spread:
The vast majority of C-19 is spread is by people with symptoms.
Tracking those with PCR positive test results but no symptoms is almost irrelevant.
A “case," despite what we’ve been led to believe, is not defined as someone without symptoms.
Destroying the social fabric by putting the burden of disease spread on those who don’t have symptoms is a massive mistake in focus.
As my grade 8 music teacher used to say, “You have the em-PHAS-is on the wrong syl-LAB-le.”
“We don’t really need to prevent the spread. We need to protect the vulnerable while spread is naturally occurring.” Dr. Sunetra Gupta
Models have excellent uses in understanding the behaviour of complex systems.
But they are NOT useful as predictors.
The past year has born this out, over and over again.
The data does not match the modelling - by a long shot.
“With the first SARS we missed the boat entirely, because it in fact was not a highly infectious disease. We spent all of our time worrying about what SARS might do, rather than actually looking at what it was doing.” Dr. Richard Schabas
Where to start?
Masks can, in some circumstances, possibly help.
If you’re visiting an elderly person who is vulnerable, you may want to wear one.
But there is no consensus that they make any discernible difference, but do cause harm in many cases - especially with children.
“The idea of putting a mask on a child is really problematic...” Dr. Sunetra Gupta
Even elderly people are negatively impacted, because they think they’re protected when they go out.
“…we’ve turned [mask wearing] into this moral thing you can do to signal virtue about yourself.” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya
On Fear as a Tactic:
We learned from the public health policy on fighting tobacco usage that fear doesn’t work.
But perhaps the more dangerous outcome is the undermining of trust in public health.
We have all heard the mask, no-mask, double-mask rhetoric of the past year.
In Ontario and many other places, we’ve seen lockdowns go from 2 weeks to over a year, with ever-changing justifications.
People are upset, confused, and afraid.
Fear is contrary to the basic principles of public health.
“People who are fearful don’t make rational decisions.” Dr. Richard Schabas
All of these experts support the usage of C-19 vaccines - for focused protection.
Pushing for full vaccination has created mistrust and is contrary to how public health works in an open and democratic society.
The idea of vaccine passports sets up a “vaccine Jim Crow,” where people are not treated as equals.
In fact, the idea of mandatory vaccination has created more fear of vaccines than the very small anti-vaxx movement.
“The plans for its use don’t align with the science.” Dr. Sunetra Gupta
On Where this is Heading:
We will never know the full ripple effect of scientifically unfounded policies and the damage to individual, community, and societal health.
We must get children back into school before we further the damage.
We need to return to the foundational principles of the scientific method - especially and including healthy debate.
“I don’t know if the scientific community is going to survive [this]. I hope it will be able to regain, because if not, then 300 years of enlightenment have ended now.” Dr. Martin Kulldorff
On Why So Much Rancour:
There are many theories about why this particular disease has caused such discord.
But these scientists are too gracious, and, well, scientific, to point fingers and make assumptions.
Besides, that’s a subject for another blog.
But I recommend you listen to these esteemed doctors share the ludicrous politicization of their opinions.
In the end, the interview concludes with a salient point about creating public health policies.
“…a much broader set of experts need to be at the table.” Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill
If only these experts had been offered a seat.
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