The Efficacy of Lockdown

This discussion is an extension of the Covid-19 pandemic discussion and the subsequent consideration of the potential use of ‘propaganda’ to guide public policy. However, the primary purpose of the current discussion is to provide an informal repository of references that might question the efficacy of the lockdown policy as the most appropriate way of addressing the current Covid-19 pandemic. In this context, priority will first be given to a number of references that detail a range of health issues that might help to mitigate the mortality of the Covid-19 virus. Of course, if this is possible, then it might also question the efficacy of the lockdown policy and the idea that mass mandatory vaccines will be the only way to ‘defeat'  the virus. However, questioning this strategy also requires this discussion include references that consider the wider economic and political aspects, which undoubtedly surround this global pandemic.

Note: It has always been highlighted that these discussions do not have the authority to directly question the lockdown policy, which is why it will make reference to those assumed to be better qualified. Of course, the authority of some of these references still need to be questioned, as must the authority of the mainstream narrative. While they can be no certainty at this stage, there appears to be mounting evidence that mainstream sources of information have not been entirely truthful or transparent in the information given to the general public. At this point in time, 15-May-2020, the general public have been subject to an almost 24/7 bombardment from mainstream sources, said to reflect the consensus of medical science, such that government policy should not be questioned. In order to provide some alternative perspective at the start of this discussion, the reader might wish to review a video with Professor Dolores Cahill and Fiona Marie Flanagan, dated 12-May-2020.

So, as outlined, the goal of this discussion is primarily to provide links to more authoritative references, although some general commentary of the implications surrounding the issues raised will be made. From a timeline perspective, this website started to investigate the Covid-19 pandemic in the Feb-2020 timeframe, primarily as a learning process, such that it initially consisted of little more than an attempt to understand some of the basic terminology, as characterized in the diagram below left. However, later, some further attempt was made to extend this understanding by producing various spreadsheet SIR models as illustrated below right – again see link Covid-19 pandemic for more details.

However, an understanding of the timeline of this pandemic is important, because it highlights the fact that everybody has been learning about the pathology of the Covid-19 virus over a relatively short timeframe, inclusive of the experts.

Note: The first case of the Covid-19 virus is assumed to have occurred in Nov-2019, the Taiwanese then reported their concerns to the World Health Organization (WHO) about a possible viral outbreak in Wutan at the end of Dec-2019. The first case of the virus outside China was reported on 13-Jan-2020 in Thailand, followed two days later by Japan and within 10 days infections had appeared in over 20 countries. On 11-Mar-2020, the WHO declare the Covid-19 virus to be a pandemic, by which time it had already infected over 118,000 people in 110 countries around the world.

However, the first statistical data collected by this website is dated 07-Mar-2020, sourced from the website, by which time there were 101,112 reported global infections and 3,487 deaths, while in contrast, the UK only had 164 reported infections and 2 deaths. Focusing on the UK timeline, the first Covid-19 infection was reported 30-Jan-2020 followed by the first death dated 6-Mar-2020. By 16-Mar-2020, the UK figure had risen to 50 deaths, although limited analysis suggests that all deaths were in the higher risk categories, i.e. age 60 and over with pre-existing health conditions. The UK lockdown was formally announced 23-Mar-2020, which equates to 52 days after the first case being reported and 17 days after the first death. Based on the website, dated 20-Mar-2020, the reported UK infections was recorded as 17,089, just 0.03% of the UK 67 million population with 1,019 deaths, i.e. 5.96% of infections. However, in the months following the UK lockdown, i.e. 20-Apr-2020, the UK infections had increased to 120,067 (0.18%), while the 16,060 deaths being attributed to the Covid-19 virus had risen to a questionable figure of 13.38%, the highest in the world at that time.

Note: This brief outline has been provided as it might explain why this website started to adopt a somewhat sceptical perspective on the official figures, both infections and deaths, especially as none appear compatible to the predictions of any SIR model produced, where the number of reported infections suggested that 99% of any population had to remain ‘susceptible’ to the virus. If so, it is difficult to assess the efficacy of any lockdown, as opposed to some form of ‘smart distancing’, and possibly more worrying is the assumption that the only way out of this crisis is the vague possibility of some future vaccine being mandated.

In the 133 days between today’s date (13 May-2020) and the first report by Taiwan to the WHO, many experts have been attempting to review the data in order to draw conclusions as to how best approach this pandemic. Of course, given the specialisation of experts in the modern world, it might be realised that virologists, immunologists, medical doctors, statisticians, economists, politicians and even the general public might all have somewhat different opinions on the scope and priority of the problems that need to be addressed. However, over this timeline, there appears to be a growing disconnect between many expert opinions, although this diversity of opinion was not really ever reported by the mainstream media or referenced within government advice.

Note: The table below is based on the latest figures taken from, dated 14-May-2020, indicating 4,446,032 global infections resulting in 298,442 deaths. Statistically, these figures have also been translated into percentages, for the top-10 countries listed below, where deaths are shown as both a percentage of the infections and then as a percentage of the population.

Rank Country Population Infections % Deaths Infect % Pop %
0 Global 7,700,000,000 4,446,032 0.06% 298,442 6.71% 0.0006%
1 USA 329,227,746 1,430,348 0.43% 85,197 5.96% 0.0050%
2 Spain 50,800,000 271,095 0.53% 27,104 10.00% 0.0030%
3 Russia 144,438,554 252,245 0.17% 2,305 0.91% 0.0016%
4  UK 67,772,000 229,705 0.34% 33,186 14.45% 0.0023%
5  Italy 60,500,000 222,104 0.37% 31,106 14.01% 0.0015%
6 Brazil 212,347,956 190,137 0.09% 13,240 6.96% 0.0039%
7 France 67,000,000 178,060 0.27% 27,074 15.20% 0.0036%
8 Germany 82,800,000 174,098 0.21% 7,861 4.52% 0.0018%
9 Turkey 84,106,165 143,114 0.17% 3,952 2.76% 0.0012%
10 Iran 79,900,000 112,725 0.14% 6,783 6.02% 0.0034%

The first confusion that might be raised against this table is the wide variance in the %-deaths being reported in each country, which was previously questioned in the Covid-19 pandemic discussion in terms of the inaccuracy of both the under reporting of infections and the over-reporting of deaths. In this context, it is suspected that the virus may have been cited on the death certificate without the necessary proof it was the actual cause of death. As such, we might also question the global death rate (6.71%) as a meaningful average, especially when the WHO has suggested a death rate of 3.4% and other sources a figure closer to 1%.

Note: In addition to the possible over-reporting of deaths directly caused by the Covid-19 virus, there may be a multitude of other factors skewing the %-deaths in each country based on the demographics of age, wealth, health and even geographic latitude. There is also growing concern over the issue of excess deaths being caused by the prioritisation of the Covid-19 pandemic over all other health problems – see video Viral Mortality Comparison, dated 9-May-2020, for more details.

Despite the near blanket coverage of 24/7 mainstream media of the pandemic, the general public may not necessarily be aware of some of the wider issues to be referenced in this discussion. Given the somewhat polarisation of opinions not discussed, it is not unreasonable that this discussion focuses on some alternative expert and non-expert opinions. As indicated, the following summary will initially prioritise references that discuss the pandemic from a health perspective, especially if suggesting ways that the worst outcome of the virus, i.e. death, might be mitigated.

  • The first source of information is a video entitled 'How to Survive Coronavirus’, dated 13-Apr-202, by Dr. Paul Mason, where he discusses the role of diet in maintaining good health and the beneficial advantage it provides in fighting off serious viral infections. The information might then be complemented by a video by Ivor Cummins entitled Vitamin-D and Human Health, dated 4-Dec-2018, and while posted before the current pandemic outbreak, it provides some additional information about the important role of Vitamin-D within the human immune system. An updated video entitled ‘Vitamin D Status and Viral Interactions’, dated 27-Apr-2020, might also be another useful source of information. Within this general introduction, an earlier video entitled 'A New Paradigm of Insulin Resistance', dated 26-May-2017, by Dr. Jason Fung might also provide some important health information. Broadly all these videos are highlighting that many of the underlying health problems in modern society, which have led to deaths in the current pandemic, may be mitigated by simply adopting a more healthy diet – see Prevention versus Cure for wider discussion.

  • It is possible that some general information about the role of vitamins in support of the human immune system may also prove useful as a primer before considering other references – see Wikipedia page on vitamins, nutrients and minerals for initial references. While the video entitled ’13 essential vitamins’, dated 5-May-2020, is a somewhat ‘static’ delivery of the benefits of some key vitamins, it is selected because it underlines that they can be obtained from healthy foods, not just supplements. However, some vitamins and minerals, e.g. vitamin-D and magnesium, cannot always be obtained from just the food we eat, such that supplements may be sensible. So, while there are a multitude of vitamins and trace elements that are vital to human health and the functioning of the immune system, e.g. vitamin-C, vitamin-D and vitamin-K2 along with magnesium and zinc might be generally highlighted.

Note: The last set of references are simply by way of short general introductions and should not be considered authoritative and, as such, the interested reader should search for further information on what are complex issues that researchers are only just beginning to understand – see video Immune System Overview, dated 1-Apr-2017, for a far more technical insight to the actual complexity of the immune system.

  • Ivor Cummins’ videos are considered an authoritative source of information, even though some information may be questioned by more mainstream sources. However, Ivor Cummins has a proven track-record of researching the root causes of modern chronic disease with a particular focus on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, see website called ‘The Fat Emperor’ for more background details. This background appears to make him qualified, at least, to comment on some of the statistical data being ‘propagated’ about the Covid-19 virus that requires closer scrutiny – see Data Centric Perspective, dated 26-May-2017, for more details. Likewise, a video entitled ‘If You Think You Understand the Current Viral Issue - You Don't’, dated 12-May-2020, which provides another perspective on the ‘pros and cons’ of a lockdown strategy. In addition to the general health videos in the first bullet above, Ivor Cummins has interviewed Ron Rosedale MD, who specializes in nutritional and metabolic medicine – see video entitled Crucial Explanation on how to Avoid Serious Viral Impacts, dated 11-Apr-2020, where they discuss the role of leptin sensitivity within the immune system.

While it is recommended that the reader should find additional information on all these topics, it is hoped that these videos might provide a reasonable outline of the many important health issues, which the general public might consider in order to better protect themselves from the worst outcomes associated with the current pandemic. However, what might also be questioned at this point is why this information has not been more widely highlighted by the mainstream media or government health services? While such a question is open to any number of conspiracy theories, which will not be pursued, there are genuine issues of concern about the efficacy of the lockdown approach and where it might be leading.

The next video is entitled ‘ Debunking the Narrative’, dated 11-May-2020, and is another interview with Professor Delores Cahill, whose expert opinion was cited in the first note in this discussion. At face-value, Professor Cahill appears well qualified to talk about the current pandemic, but as she details her qualification at the start of this video, this information will not be replicated. While this video is not helped by poor production quality, the information is possibly the more important factor in this case. At about minute 14:45, the video references the work of Dr. Knut Wittowski, which leads to a discussion of a slide that Dr. Wittowski presented to the Centre of Disease Control (CDC), dated 17-Apr-2020, showing the effects of 3 viral infections in the 2019-2020 season. While the reader needs to review the details of Professor Cahill’s comments for themselves, some caution may be necessary. For many of Professor Cahill’s comments appear to express a degree of certainty on a number of important issues, which while possibly acceptable in this type of interview, will require further clarification. However, the cited video with Professor Dolores Cahill and Fiona Marie Flanagan, dated 12-May-2020, appears to better address most of these issues.

  • As a broad generalisation, the issues raised with the interviews with Dolores Cahill might be simplified in terms of 3 key issues. 1) Viral mechanisms, 2) Repurposing of drugs and 3) The Efficacy of Vaccines. In order to start addressing issue-1, it might be useful to initially consider a somewhat historical perspective, as per the video entitled Influenza Viruses and Pandemics, dated 2-Nov-2009. The reason for citing this video is that it predates the ‘current wisdom’ being propagated by the mainstream in the current pandemic, such that we might compare the basic viral mechanisms being described with those outlined by Professor Cahill. Another perspective might be considered in a video entitled ‘ How can the Coronavirus pandemic end?’, dated 10-Apr-2020, which while highlighting that an effective, and safe, vaccine might be the ideal solution, history suggests that this might take many years. However, we will defer the wider discussion of vaccines to the next bullet summary. Moving onto issue-2, the ‘ repurposing’ of existing antiviral drugs is another complex issue, where the video Repurposing Existing Drugs might only be seen as a brief outline of the scope of possibilities. However, Professor Cahill’s comments were more specific to the use of hydroxychloroquine and zinc. While some caution is suggested about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a possible mitigator of the worst effects of the Covid-19 virus, its potential as a mitigating treatment, but not necessarily a cure, when the more serious symptoms of the Covid-19 virus started to appear is now the focus of much research. However, for a basic introduction see video entitled Hydroxychloroquine and Covid-19, dated 10-Apr-2020, as a basic primer and then a general endorsement video entitled Hydroxychloroquine Use in Coronavirus Patients, dated 30 Mar-2020. While neither video can be seen as conclusive, they might be seen as generally supportive of some of Professor Cahill’s statements. Finally, the issue of the efficacy of vaccine will be discussed in the next bullet as some of the concerns extend beyond medical evidence.

  • This bullet will now consider the issue of vaccines and some of Professor Cahill’s concerns about a Covid-19 vaccine. However, it might be useful to first consider some general information in the form of a video entitled ‘Possible vaccine in 2021, but not without taking risks’, dated 8-May-2020. The reason for choosing this video rather than one that might be considered more authoritative is that many sources have ‘vested interests’, both direct and indirect, in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine development. In brief, Professor Cahill raised a number of basic concerns, but not necessarily an outright objection to a vaccine, as she herself has previously work on various vaccine developments. By way of reference, these concerns are raised in video-1, at minutes 3:15-10:30 relating to the use of aluminium and mercury in earlier vaccines and then at minutes 10:30-17:20 regarding the suggestion that an earlier influenza vaccine could have caused a cytokine storm, when people were subsequently exposed to other Covid virus infections. However, at this time, these concerns have to be deferred until there is more supportive information. However, it does not seem unreasonable to raise concerns or question the safety of any potential Covid vaccine, developed within a 18-month timeframe, if the normal requirements for safety trials is allowed to be ‘fast-tracked’. For, while ethical concerns might limit these human trials to ‘army volunteers’, it is unclear how children might be safe-guarded in this accelerated timeframe, even assuming that an effective vaccine could be developed and distributed in the quantities required by an entire national population, let alone the entire global population, such that the virus might be said to have been eradicated.

  • At this point, some other more speculative concerns might be raised about the various vested interests surrounding the development of a vaccine beyond its effectiveness to address the current pandemic, both medically and economically, if availability to the global population may still be 2 years away. While this discussion does not want to propagate any conspiracy theory that might surround the development of vaccines, there are potential concerns that should be raised, especially as much of the information may not be known or understood by the general public.

Note: As some of this information needs to be questioned it will be highlighted in this form, initially anchored to a video entitled Connecting the Dots Part 2, dated 19-Apr-2020. However, this video then makes reference to information about vaccine development in a UK-Column video, dated 15-Apr-2020, where Vanessa Beeley has been described as either a conspiracy theorist or more simply as an investigative journalist on the issue of vaccine development. In brief, the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium lists its key partners as Imperial College London, where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance are the primary funders. While Professor Neil Ferguson is listed as the Acting Consortium Director, he is also a professor at the Imperial College, which the video claims has received a total of $400 million from the Wellcome Trust and $185 million from the Gates Foundation, since 2014. Professor Ferguson was also the lead author of the report said to have influenced the UK lockdown strategy. The video also mentions a link between the Gavi Alliance and the ID-2020 alliance , where the mission statement of this organisation might be subject to different interpretations. While, at one level, the mission statement might be seen as an admirable goal, others might question this goal in terms of the right to privacy, such that we might wish to know a little bit more about this organisation and its objectives. The ID-2020 Alliance was started in 2017 with founder members Accenture, GAVI, Microsoft, Rockefeller Foundation and with the goal of tagging every global citizen by the year 2030. GAVI along with vaccine manufacturers also support the ID-2020 program in order to support their own goals for global vaccination. Finally, it is highlighted that an organisation called the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) with another laudable goal to finance independent research projects to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases also has funding links back to various governments and the Gates Foundation ($100 million) and the Wellcome Trust ($100 million). In March 2020, the British government pledged £210 million to CEPI to focus on a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus, making it the largest individual donor to CEPI and GAVI.

  • However, in the context of this discussion, it will be highlighted that while some might be rightly concerned about some, or all, of the developments cited above, especially if lacking public transparency, they do not constitute a proven conspiracy against public interests. However, a video lecture by Jason Fung entitled ‘Financial Conflicts of Interests and the End of Evidence-Based Medicine’, dated 24-Sep-2019, might still highlight some of the risks associated with the commercial interests of large pharmaceutical companies, who may only see the development of vaccines as a potential lucrative business opportunity.

  • So, having highlighted some speculative issues, which may or may not support Professor Cahill’s concerns about the imposition of mass mandated vaccines, we shall return to some of the medical science research surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic starting with a video entitled Coronavirus: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, dated 20-Apr-2020. While this video goes beyond the needs of the general public, it reflects the complexity of the issues that are still being researched. Reference might also be made to 2 videos by Dr Mike Hansen entitled How COVID19 Kills Some People, dated 15-Apr-2020, and Covid-19 Autopsy Cases, dated 14-May-2020.

Note: Some statistical perspective is needed in respect to the last two videos for it has been estimated that 80% of those infected may only have mild symptoms, while another 15% may have more severe symptoms possibly requiring some medical treatment with only the final 5% experiencing life threatening symptoms, although exactly how many of the 5% will die will be questioned in the next bullet.

  • While an understanding of the worst-case outcomes of the Covid-19 virus are important to medical science, the real issue of concern to the general public might be a more accurate appraisal of the actual death rate. The following video entitled ‘Estimating case fatality rates for COVID-19’, dated 9-Mar-2020, might be considered as a simple, but generally informative overview, but where the point of interest to this discussion comes a minute 6:20 with the suggestion that reported infections might have been under-reported by a factor of 19. If so, it might suggest that the %-deaths reported in the initial table, dated 14-May-2020, are also over-estimated by a similar factor. On this basis, the actual %-death relative to infections might generally be lower than 1%, as suggested by other sources. Again, caution is necessary as the real figure in each country is not known at this time and may be subject to many other demographic factors, although it is unclear why some countries, e.g. the UK, appears to make no attempt to contradict the implication of the statistics suggesting a death rate of 14.45% relative to infections. While the Covid-19 virus is clearly a very serious pandemic, the efficacy of the lockdown policy has to be assessed in terms of an accurate estimate of the %-death rate, especially as some have suggested the possibility of excess deaths as a result of the lockdown itself. Simply by way of another reference, see video Corona crisis: Open letter to the Chancellor from Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi, dated 29-Mar-2020.

Note: Reference might be made to a UK Column news report, dated 15-Apr-2020, at minutes 1:15-4:10. The reason for referencing this video is the suggestion that the actual number of UK Covid-19 deaths in week-14 was 475, which might be compared to the number of normal deaths per week being in the region of 10,500, i.e. just 4.5%. However, the issue of concern raised is the apparent number of unexplained deaths for week-14 being 5,665, which might have been caused by the unintended consequence of prioritising the Covid-19 virus above all other health conditions. Again, while such claims cannot simply be accepted at face-value, it is unclear that they should simply be dismissed, especially if the figure of 10,500 deaths per week is compatible with an official figure of 600,000 UK deaths in 2018. Official statistics also suggest that 78% were caused by medical conditions, i.e. 8981 per week, which might be the baseline against which to compared the 475 Covid-19 deaths and the 5,665 excess deaths claimed.

  • Clearly there is conflicting expert opinion, which might be highlighted in terms of Professor Johan Giesecke, who is a Swedish expert, who has advised the Swedish government and the WHO and appears in a video interview entitled ‘Why lockdowns are the wrong policy’, dated 17-Apr-2020, and another video with Professor Neil Ferguson, where he defends the UK Coronavirus lockdown strategy, dated 25-Apr-2020.

While this discussion might continue to cite dozens of references, where experts with different opinions might continue to argue about the ‘pros and cons’ of the lockdown policy, we might table a more fundamental question.

What might the general public come to believe?

While this discussion does not wish to minimise the tragedy of people dying as a result of the Covid-19 virus, it has argued for some statistical perspective that might better inform the general public of the health risks that might be mitigated by a healthy diet. In addition, it is argued that the public possibly needs a better understanding of the risks associated with the Covid-19 virus in comparison to the normal risks we face every year. Again, using the UK as a general example, where in 2018 over 600,000 people died. The following two tables, first left, shows the approximate breakdown of the cause of the 2018 UK deaths, where 78%, i.e. 468,000, were related to medical conditions, which would translate into the weekly average of 8981 previously quoted. The second table right shows the assumed death rates, specific to the Covid-19 virus, as a percentage by age group. While there is no direct correlation between these tables, there is an inference that Covid-19 deaths might only be a small percentage of the overall deaths.

Non-Covid Death Rates % Rate Deaths Age % Death Overall %
Cardiovascular 28.62% 171,702 10-19 0.20% 0.20%
Cancers 25.61% 153,630 20-29 0.20% 0.40%
Respiratory 12.18% 73,074 30-39 0.20% 0.60%
Digestive diseases 4.65% 27,876 40-49 0.40% 1.00%
Mental disorders 3.61% 21,630 50-59 1.30% 2.30%
Nervous system 3.35% 20,076 60-69 3.60% 5.90%
All Other causes 22.00% 132,000 70-79 8.00% 13.90%
All causes, all ages 100.00% 599,988 80+ 14.80% 28.70%

In terms of the second table right, it also needs to be highlighted that while there is an increasing probability of death by age, this may only be a statistical correlation of the fact that people tend to accumulate health problems as they age. However, this does not necessarily have to be the case, if we adopt a healthier diet and understand the possible correlation of deaths with vitamin-D deficiency as detailed in the earlier Ivor Cummins’ videos. In addition, the table below summarises some basic analysis of the UK population, where the low-risk groups represent people under 50, while the correspondingly high-risk groups are people over 50 based on the table above, right, which have simply been aggregated. As a broad generalisation there is a suggestion of a 27-fold difference in the death rate for those at high risk. If so, the efficacy of the lockdown might be questioned for these younger generations.

Risk Groups % Pop % Death
Low-Risk 53.40% 35,778,000 1.00%
High-Risk 46.90% 31,423,000 27.70%

Note: While this discussion does not have the authority to forward any definitive conclusion about the efficacy of the lockdown policy, it will argue that the issues go beyond medical science as it has obvious impact on the economy and the lives of younger generations, at least risk, cannot be ignored. This seem especially true if the reality of any mass vaccine, proven to be safe, is possibly 1-2 years away for the general population. Finally, while not supporting any conspiracy theories, public open debate is also required to ensure and inform the public about some of the wider implications surrounding the motivation of some who support mass, and possibly mandatory, vaccination as the only solution to the current pandemic.

See Lockdown Update: 18 May-2020 and
All-Cause Mortality for further issues