The Great Barrington Declaration Universal Lockdowns vs. Focused Protection

coronavirus

With governments around the world implementing Phase II of their lockdowns as the number of COVID-19 cases grows (in tandem with the number of tests being completed), it is interesting to see that there is another narrative being promoted by a group of infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists who are growing increasingly concerned about the physical and mental health impact that these universal lockdowns are having on our society.  After a meeting at Great Barrington, Massachusetts between October 1st and 4th, 2020, three scientists have created the Great Barrington Declaration, a document that has been signed by thousands of scientists and hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens who have become increasingly concerned about how their governments are handling the COVID-19 pandemic and how the current measures being utilized (i.e. lockdowns) are, in fact, causing irreparable damage to all of us.

Let's open this posting by looking at a video featuring three dissenting scientists who are responsible for issuing the Great Barrington Declaration:

The three imminently qualified scientists who originated this Declaration are as follows:

1.) Dr. Martin Kulldorff

2.) Dr. Sunetra Gupta:

3.) Dr. Jay Bhattacharya:

Here is a screen capture showing the lead page of the Great Barrington Declaration website:

Here is the entire text of the Great Barrington Declaration:

"As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. 

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. 

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. 

As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. 

The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. 

Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals. 

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity."

The proposals in this document are very pragmatic. Never before have healthy people been subject to universal quarantining, a measure that has caused great economic distress, particularly among the less economically well-to-do.  This is why the originators of the Declaration are promoting the idea of a "focused protection" method of protecting society's most vulnerable populations rather than a "shotgun" approach as is currently in favour. 

According to the Great Barrington Declaration website, the following medical and public health practitioners and scientists have signed the document:

While the number of signatories is not currently available on the Great Barrington Declaration website, fortunately, the internet never forgets anything.  Thanks to the Wayback Machine, As of October 11, 2020 at 9:36 am, there were this many medical practitioners, scientists and concerned citizens singing the Declaration:

I have taken the opportunity to submit my signature as support for this measured approach to controlling the pandemic.  If you wish to do the same, please click here and follow the instructions on the Great Barrington Declaration website.

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