COVID-19/Efficacy of lockdown
This learning resource is about the efficacy of lockdowns. It is a introduction to the comparison of lockdowns with other epidemiological risk mitigation strategies like social distancing, wearing mask or workflow transformations that are aimed to reduce the risk of getting infected. A lockdown has massive impact on society and economy in comparison to other epidemiological risk mitigation strategies like wearing mask and raising awareness importance for protective measures (see Risk Literacy) that avoid the implementation to a lockdown. Improvement of Risk Literacy in society and compliance with risk mitigation strategy is a preliminary step before introducing a lockdowns. The success of improved epidemiological risk literacy a prior step before a lockdown to avoid the huge financial burdon for society, economy and governments, that lockdowns can induce.
It is recommended to learn about the different risk mitigation strategies in epidemiological context of infectious diseases and compare scientific evidence of the efficacy. This learning resource considers the efficacy of lockdowns in terms of the basic underlying connection that
- "people cannot infect others, if they do not meet"
On the other hand society depends of social contacts and interactions with eachother. Finding a balanced decision making between protection of vulnerable people and keeping up social, cultural, economic processes incoprates in general comparision of
- different options of risk mitigations strategies,
- comparative assessment of the efficiacy risk mitigations stratefgies and
- the activities to improve the efficacy of other "non-lockdown" risk mitigation strategies (e.g. public protective measures - like wearing masks, ...)
Learning Activities[edit | edit source]
- (Lockdown and other preventive measure in Epidemiology) First step in this learning resource is to understand, what kind of preventive epidemiological measures exist. Discuss preventive epidemioligical measures and public perception of these measure. Preventive measures in epidemiology are performed, to reduce the epidemiological spread of the disease. Preventive measures in epidemiology start much earlier that lockdowns, e.g. in hospitals when first cases appear for new disease (like COVID-19). Observations in hospital might show the pattern of an infection (e.g. contacts between a patient and visitors or between medical staff and patients for an unidentified disease and similar symptoms). Lockdowns are one option of preventive measures, that are used if the containment of the infectious disease cannot be performed anymore.
- Beyond the risk mitigation strategies ommunication of preventive measures like social distancing and Workflow Transformations are measures to avoid lockdowns and the consquences of lockdowns on economy and society in general. Analyze the link between a risk literate society and the prevention of lockdowns.
- How can the efficacy of other non-lockdown interventions can be improved to avoid lockdowns?
- Compare other risk mitigation strategies with lockdowns and identify how the efficacy can be compared scientifically?
- (Exploration and publications) Explore the pulbication listed below on efficacy of lockdown. Categories the publication according to underlying scientific methodologies to test efficacy of lockdown.
- Are references to statements in scientific peer-reviewed journals available? Are you able to check these sources?
- Did the implementation of the lockdown lead to reduced connectivity between population? I.e. was the lockdown itself as methodology not effective or was the implementation of the lockdown not effective in reduction of connectivity between population?
- What is the objective of the listed main stream publications? What other peer-reviewed publication should be added for a Neutral Point of View?
- (Risk Mitigation) Explain, why reduction of connectivity between citizens slows down spreading of communicable diseases if a virus spreads from humans to humans. What are reasons for decisions makers for and against a lockdown? Why is an analysis of the efficacy of a lockdown important for decisions in the future? Why is epidemiological Risk Literacy in the population important that a lockdown has a significant impact? How can early efforts of risk awareness and risk literacy prevent a lockdown and its consequences for society and economy?
Review of Publication[edit | edit source]
The efficacy of lockdowns imposed by governments can be investigated. What can be investigated is the statistically measurable impact of lockdowns on relevant outcomes such as mortality rate.
Use the following resources with caution.
Further reading in mainstream media (use with double caution: mainstream media is generally unreliable on science):
- Williams, Sophie (3 January 2020). "How the plague taught us to fight coronavirus". BBC News.
- Levenson, Michael (2 January 2020). "Scale of China's Wuhan Shutdown Is Believed to Be Without Precedent". The New York Times.
- Rogers, Adam (22 January 2020). "Would the Coronavirus Quarantine of Wuhan Even Work?". Wired.
- Du, Lisa (24 January 2020). "China's Unproven Antiviral Solution: Quarantine of 40 Million". Bloomberg L.P.
- "As Coronavirus Fears Intensify, Effectiveness of Quarantines Is Questioned". The New York Times. 2 January 2020.
- Hamblin, James (2 January 2020). "A Historic Quarantine". The Atlantic.
- Jain, Vageesh (31 January 2020). "Coronavirus outbreak: quarantining millions in China is unprecedented and wrong". The Conversation.
Further reading for science, including pre-prints:
- Full lockdown policies in Western Europe countries have no evident impacts on the COVID-19 epidemic. by A. J. Meunier, May 1, medrxiv.org - non-peer-reviewed preprint of a study
- A country level analysis measuring the impact of government actions, country preparedness and socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality and related health outcomes, July 21, 2020, thelancet.com
- The above investigation included look at correlations of obesity, median population age, GDP, time to border closures from the first reported case, and more.
- A phenomenological approach to assessing the effectiveness of COVID-19 related nonpharmaceutical interventions in Germany by Thomas Wieland, 21 July 2020, sciencedirect.com
Further reading on media that neither scientific publication venue nor mainstream media, to be used with double caution:
- Lockdown Deaths, Not Covid Deaths by Iain Davis, July 14, ukcolumn.org
Other further reading:
- COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, wikipedia.org