From the early days of Covid, I have been questioning the wisdom of lockdown. In a post I wrote in December 2020, I said the following:
“For one, I question the wisdom of economy-wide lockdown. […] the majority of the labor force (people under 45) have a lower mortality risk (less than 5%). Because many of those labors need to be on-site to perform their work and contribute to the economy, keeping them home seem to be less beneficial and productive compared to allowing them to work.”
Today (January 14, 2022) WSJ published an article titled “Florida is Living with Covid- and Freedom“. To me, it is an exhilarating read. It confirms my long-held suspicion that somehow many states and cities in the US are making Covid-related decisions that are NOT based on sound data or sound reasoning.
The author, James Taranto, is a editor of WSJ himself, but the article shed its spotlight on another person – Dr. Joseph Ladapo, professor turned policy maker, who is now the surgeon general of Florida.
Dr. Ladapo advised the state of Florida to open up, have less restrictions on Covid, and “live with Covid”. In short, freedom.
As was expected, the media blasted Florida and Dr. Ladapo. But what is the result up to now, as the whole nation is under the merciless blanket of omicron?
Let us look at the visualization provided by Statistica:
As you can see, Florida is in the middle. In contrast, New York, a state which has implemented strict lockdown and mandates, is at the top in terms of death rate. The difference should be interpreted as even larger because Florida has many more older people, so Florida has a more vulnerable population to begin with!
What does this tell us?
Lockdown does not work. Masks probably do not work either.
Vaccine mandates do not work. (Note: I am not saying vaccines do not work. I myself took the vaccine, believing it will protect myself from getting severely sick. I am saying the mandates doe not appear to work.) There may be people who object and say “People who choose not to be vaccinated are selfish and self-centered, not caring about the safety of people around because the unvaccinated can transmit the virus to others.” But wait, we now know the vaccinated also transmit the virus with almost the same rate, some of them even get sick themselves (i.e.”the breakthroughs”). See this article by Scientific American.
There is one valid argument that I would like to acknowledge. That is, if we do not mandate vaccine, our hospitals would be overwhelmed and our public health system would collapse, and end up hurt everyone needing care. That is a legitimate concern, but real-world data does not support that. Hospitals in Florida was not in any particularly worse shape than those states that have mandates. Therefore, it is not clear if mandates are effective in bringing down hospitalizations. Or maybe should I say mandates are clearly not effective? I will get more data and let the data speak on that.
Let me end with one question that was posed in the article, which is, “Is the possible reduction in risk worth the price in freedom?”
My answer is no.