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Covid experts: there is another way Three eminent epidemiologists met in Massachusetts to plan a better response to the pandemic


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October 5, 2020   2 mins
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October 5, 2020   2 mins
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October 5, 2020   2 mins

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. 

 
“This is the saner approach, the more scientific approach,” the authors tell Freddie Sayers

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.

Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 4th October 2020

To sign the declaration, follow this link (will be live later today):
www.GBdeclaration.org


Dr Sunetra Gupta is a professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modelling of infectious diseases


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jkellymetal
jkellymetal
3 years ago

I’d like to know in some detail what this means, “. . . build up immunity to the virus through natural infection . . .”

Natural infection from what?

Myself, age 80, always wear a mask in public, avoid crowded areas but do go to my favorite restaurant Guilty of not making all the Dr.’s visits I should have this year. Get info on Covid from practicing physicians, absolutely disregard any politician of either party, indeed any public employees, where Covid is concerned.

irenesousasantos
irenesousasantos
3 years ago

Focused Protection

flagmichael
flagmichael
3 years ago

This is the most promising proposal have seen. Great work!
I recommend including in presentations a consideration I did not hear in the UnHerd video: intergenerational homes.
Here in Flagstaff, Arizona, we are on the edge of the western part of the Navajo Nation, the people who were here before Western civilization intruded. The Nation consists largely of intergenerational homes, and the effect of CoVID-19 has been especially bad with multiple deaths in a home being common. A man who joined our department after I retired lost both parents and a sister; I do not know the ages of anybody involved.
Good luck with your message! I think it is a path to a brighter future.

daniellemgamotis
daniellemgamotis
3 years ago

Thank you to brave scientists coming together to speak truth for the public good in the face of such politics. It gives my heart and mind peace and you have our families full support.

suzanne6brahim
SB
suzanne6brahim
3 years ago

I live in the twin island Trinidad and Tobago. Since March this year our nationals living outside of the country have not been allowed to return. Our paranoid leaders are so obsessed and myopic about reducing the number of Covid 19 cases that now some 10,000 jobs have been lost from our population of about 1.3 million. Many businesses have been shut down due to loss of sales/ income. Schools have been closed since March this year and we are forced to wear masks even in our cars with our family members. We are also not allowed to go to our beaches. Many have been charged TT$1000 and more for disobeying the law.

jstats
jstats
3 years ago

Who do we believe? So many opinions being thrown out and it is confusing!

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  jstats
Suzana Westaway
SW
Suzana Westaway
3 years ago

The authors and then signatories, do not question PCR tests, that’s why I am not signing this declaration.

2anna.rosiak
2anna.rosiak
3 years ago

Here is the answer to the PCR tests concern. https://youtu.be/8bX-wFVBP94

bendelep
MB
bendelep
3 years ago

This sounds reasonable with one exception….

Do we know the long-term effects of COVID? Letting the disease run through the younger population to achieve a protective natural herd immunity sounds easy enough, but what about all of the reports of long-standing, long-term chronic issues.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  bendelep

As the cases are being measured in the millions now you shouldn’t have to ask this question! This is just a pro lockdown fear tactic. How many of these millions of “cases” are asymptomatic? I can’t even tell. A search online has numbers all over the place and competing studies stating different things. Same thing for asymptomatic spread. Most of the scientific papers say it is rare but plenty anecdotal information saying it is as much as 50 percent! China is somehow back to normal and stating only health care personnel and people who travel outside the country need a vaccine! Australia and New Zealand have become police states. Ireland and the UK have locked down again. Sweden (and even the other Nordic states!) are nearly back to normal with cell phone mobility near precovid levels and the USA is muddled hodgepodge. Fauci, Gates, and Morens are talking about this being a “pandemic era” and climate change is the problem. They are saying the WEF’s great reset is the solution to all our problems. Meanwhile Western Oligarchs have gotten wealthier and more powerful and the middle class are poorer and less powerful. I’m not sure what the end game is here. I am 100 percent certain it is going to be dark and ugly. https://www.techspot.com/ne

williamlovett742
WL
williamlovett742
3 years ago

I believe this whole thing will blow over after the election. A worldwide lockdown. Really. Question the authorities. Do you believe the experts. Could you be lied to. More people died in 2017 and 2018 from all causes of death than from the so called “pandemic”.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago

I don’t think so. It has nothing to do with the virus. They have told us that time and time again. Fauci and Morens published a paper on it. Fauci is calling this a new era. The “pandemic era”. It is a complete fraud. Epidemics have been greatly reduced by having sanitation plants and clean water. Largely eliminating cholera was huge. The trend in mortality is clearly down. They are tying this to climate change to remake the world’s economic system. https://www.healthleadersme

Dennis Boylon
DB
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago

Fauci and Morens “pandemic era”. This is why they keep saying “new normal”. This is why the WEF is pushing “The Great Reset”. This is why BoJo’s new slogan is “build back better”. THis is why Joe Biden’s slogan is “build back better”. The oligarchs are getting richer and attempting to buy off access to all resources. They are going to control the “new normal”. The rest of the world is going to be a lot poorer.

https://www.timesnownews.co

diligentdave
diligentdave
3 years ago

Did or can anyone copy this video and send it to me? I see YouTube is blocking it.

Dennis Boylon
DB
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago
Reply to  diligentdave

It works on youtube. At least it is for me.

Mark Wembley
Mark Wembley
3 years ago

The idea that this country, its government or citizenry, would lift a finger to “protect the vulnerable” while everyone lives life as “normal” is laughably naive at best, and dangerously disingenuous at its core. The fact that the old are sequestered away in “retirement homes”, as if they are hidden embarrassments, should be a clue as to how well we “protect the vulnerable”. How many school shootings would theoretically have to occur before children are considered a vulnerable population?
Additionally, this is a novel virus; no one knows the long-term health ramifications. Presuming that results of infection are binary, ie either you die or recover 100%, is myopic and idiotic.
Drs., until your CVS include real-life pandemic success from this lazy, mendacious approach, I’ll consider your ideas those of the ivory tower from which you work, and will give them as much credence as Dershowitz’s ideas on the law.

tobiasfoster
TF
tobiasfoster
3 years ago

So it doesn’t address the fact that immunity to COVID19, according to current studies, doesn’t last in the majority of people, past 6 months. This defeats the object of herd immunity. There are compelling arguments made I agree – such as the fact that younger people such as you and I should be able to carry on with the bulk of our usual activities. But to rely on herd immunity is folly because there’s no evidence yet that it is the sound course of action.

Woodley Brown
Woodley Brown
3 years ago

i know I’m late to the game re: this discussion, but I would like to voice a concern nonetheless. While I agree with the proposal in principle, I am worried about the potential longterm, under-researched, effects of covid-19. My point of contention is this: suppose we enact the Focused Protection plan and develop herd immunity among the youth population(s) and prevent disease among those with underlying conditions (including old age). Well, what if the cost of that is longstanding deleterious effects on the youth population? … and we just won’t know what those effects are until the data comes in years later? — this seems like a potential problem for the proposal. What do you all think?

Diamuid Collins
Diamuid Collins
1 year ago

Aged pretty well except for the emphasis on herd immunity (in the ordinary understood concept of that word) and the three month estimate.

Still think it was by far the better option and appears to be vindicated by the experience of Sweden and Florida amongst others. There is no clear correlation between abjectly strict measures and outcomes.

The excess death figures are persistently massive also, though it remains to be seen how many of those are post-covid related and how many are lockdown related.