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Were the Covid lockdowns justified?

Were the Covid lockdowns justified?

To mark three years since Covid was declared a pandemic, Dr Katie Musgrave reflects on how the respiratory disease – and our response to it – has impacted our lives

It’s almost as if the past three years never happened. Day-to-day life has, for the most part, returned to normal. Sports clubs have resumed. Theatres have reopened. Schools, pubs and shops are busy again. I see some reminders in my surgery with the few remaining masks.

However, it seems that the legacy of the pandemic is now largely behind closed doors: the elderly patients who have not emerged; the teenagers who can no longer face leaving home; or the business owners whose lives’ works have collapsed.

But what of all the other effects? The unimaginable economic costs, those months of schooling that millions of children missed, the families who did not say goodbye to loved ones, the loosening of relationships, the preference for working less or not at all, the newfound reluctance to socialise or volunteer? What impact are they having on our society? On our health, prosperity and wellbeing? If we knew then what we what know now, would we do it all again?

Putting aside the first lockdown – which I think most would agree was justified due to uncertainty and the need to develop some testing capacity, protective equipment, protocols and the like – how do we now feel about the decision to close schools in 2021 for months, after the vaccine rollout had begun?

How do we feel about the mass testing of children, masking them, social bubbles, and repeated periods of isolation? What do we think of the rules against leaving the house for more than an hour? The limitations on exercise? The rules against travelling to visit family, or loved ones in care homes? Should we have been more targeted? Could wider harms have been reduced? Was Sweden right all along?

Having been through this experience, seeing first hand the impact that Covid and the subsequent lockdowns have had on patients, how do we balance the risks and harms? With millions now on waiting lists for outpatient appointments and surgery, how do we feel about these prolonged effects? Could they have been lessened?

I find I am now practising medicine as if Covid were no longer a threat. I forget to ask about Covid tests when patients report a feverish illness. I rarely think of it when reviewing a persistent cough. In my mind, it’s now firmly in the category of common winter viruses, which may or may not lead to serious illness.

Whether it’s Covid or the flu seems fairly unimportant. I don’t seem to have too many long Covid patients, and I still suspect a lot of this was a post-traumatic psychosomatic reaction to prolonged uncertainty and the removal of support networks. I have never lived through such a tumultuous time – and at times, just getting up each morning felt challenging. Of course, people also suffering from post-viral effects would be hard hit. The fear, uncertainty, isolation, and constant changes were immensely difficult to adjust to. I now view the lockdowns as a sort of national trauma, which will take time to heal.

If we were faced again with a novel respiratory virus, which predominantly affected the elderly or those with comorbidities, would we call for a shutdown of society again? Should the Government have tried to ‘frighten the pants off everyone’? Or would we walk a middle road, trying to protect the vulnerable but also striving to protect the young, mental wellbeing, the economy and our local communities?

Did we get it right? What can we learn? And how can we help all those who have been damaged through this period?

Dr Katie Musgrave is a GP in Devon and quality improvement fellow for the South West



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Dave Haddock 28 March, 2023 5:19 pm

Sweden avoided the severe lockdowns imposed elsewhere and has one of the lowest excess death rates of comparable countries.
Inevitably large numbers of very elderly people would die from Covid; but lockdown resulted in many more, and younger dying from untreated disease; lockdown wrecked the economy, and wrecked the education of a generation of children and students.

Dave Haddock 28 March, 2023 5:28 pm

The other problem with lockdown – the authoritarianism, the deliberate dishonest manipulation of the public (as evidenced by Hancock’s tweets), has encouraged a profound distrust of Government. It’s almost as if intended to confirm to the antivax nutters and conspiracy fruitcakes that they were right all along.

Ian Sibley-Calder 28 March, 2023 5:33 pm

Second and third lockdowns were not justified. We had the vaccinations. Only the vulnerable should have been careful.
The effects of lockdowns and furlough have crucified this country and will have caused more deaths and misery in the long run, than ever Covid could have done.

Finola ONeill 28 March, 2023 5:46 pm

The reason we had further lockdowns was the failure of the government to get Test and Trace running properly.
Without containing covid by the only two methods possible; lockdowns or effective test and trace (with border controls early) there wasn’t a choice. The NHS would’ve been overwhelmed if Test and trace wasn’t able to contain it and the govt never got it going properly and too late with borders.
I can’t really understand how doctors don’t understand that these were the only two choices. The elderly couldn’t shield fully if it was ripping across the population, until vaccines many middle aged and younger with risk factors (especially obesity/diabetes) were getting really sick and dying.
Unless there was a bizarre policy to refuse certain people beds the nhs would’ve been overwhelmed and none of the non covid stuff would’ve got treated anyway.
Children would’ve been fairly traumatised had the original 5% mortality (before vaccines), 25% mortality to over 80s, ripped through.
Once we were vaccinated probably different but 20:20 vision in hindsight.
We were actually exceptionally fortunate to get the vaccines so quickly; hard work by the scientists not luck. Otherwise it would’ve got way messier.
Factcheck Dr Musgrove; there is considerable evidence of physical end organ effects of all systems of patients with covid including so called mild. Ever thought of checking evidence before you write an article? responsible journalism and all. Being a doctor too not bothering to check your facts and the evidence seems a bit worrying

Charles Perrott 28 March, 2023 6:04 pm

Coming out of retirement the first job I became aware of was not in the hospital or general practice but in the emergency mortuary which had been set up on a nearby airfield. Also remember seeing a line of graves dug in preparation at the local cemetery.
Then there was that real time graph with the vertical line of hospital admissions.
So yes we did need at least the first lockdown.

Dave Haddock 28 March, 2023 6:09 pm

” Ican’t really understand how doctors don’t understand …. ”
The Swedes tried the experiment; their excess deaths are lower than ours.

David Church 28 March, 2023 6:11 pm

I find offensive the apparent dismissing of the life-changing effects on people infected with covid, and assumption that the pandemic is over. Many were killed, or rendered severely disabled, or given increased risk of other diseases due to the population not being properly protected early enough in the beginning in 2020.
This abject waste of human life, especially in the health service, was thrown away by the fact that the first lockdown was too late, unfairly and incompletely imposed, and lifted too early – when we had suffered hugely from the impact of lockdown, but not quite contained the epidemic, which we could have done with slightly stricter quarantine for just a few weeks longer. All our effort and sacrifice was wasted – and for what? It has been repeatedly proven throughout history that the only way to safeguard the economy is to prioritise safeguarding of the health of the population to re-start the economy afterwards. This has not happened because we have sfaeguarded our population : many have died, and many have been forced into self-isolation because of the ongoing risk.
And the risk is still there. Recent studies show only a 50% reduction in long-covid conferred by vaccination – and that is to one episode of infection. Government are imposing multiple repeated episodes of infection on us, and all because a small group championed ‘herd immunity’, which we now know is impossible anyway, but even at the time, it was accepted with a cost of about 10% mortality (that is wastage of lives of friends and family) What a callous and economically unhelpful (and immoral) policy!
As to children missing school – the increased frequency of significant respiratory illness by repeated covid infections of children and teachers is having greater effect than would just a little bit of investment in improvements in in-school air quality and ventilation, and following infection control principles properly for an air-borne virus, such as RSV, Adenovirus, and err, even Covid!
We have demonstrated an utter failure to learn the lessons of history and science, or to consider caringly the safety and futures of our children. But never mind, a few rich MPs friends are even richer now, so it must be OK

Katherine Wildon 28 March, 2023 7:14 pm

I find this article extremely offensive and am surprised that a health professional would dismiss long covid as ‘a post-traumatic psychosomatic reaction’.
This shows a severe lack of understanding of the complexity of this condition which includes all systems of the body and can be very disabling.
I would suggest that Dr Musgrave update her knowledge in this area before commenting further in articles about this condition in which she does not seem to be properly informed.
Might I suggest starting with the NICE guidance and particularly the RCGP guidance ‘ Post COVID-19 syndrome: What support can patients expect from their GP?’.
Perhaps patients with long covid generally see a different doctor as they don’t want to be told their symptoms are ‘psychosomatic?’

Charilaos Minas 28 March, 2023 7:24 pm

How many of us have overcompensated after a mistake or an ommission that led to patient complaints? I agree that the way the first lockdown was implemented (too little, too late) caused serious health issues; this is also why they were worried that the hospitals could become overwhelmed. They say about history that one can only be objective 20 years after the event, when emotions have settled down. I wonder if we had been in the government’s shoes, other than acting faster in the first pandemic, whether we would have had the courage to stay open when the cases soared in the winter of 2021. This is not a binary issue: stay open, or close, in my view. There are several layers of complexity beneath the surface. I am neither supporting nor condoning the government by the way, merely pointing out that it’s easy to be critical retrospectively when the onus of the decision wasn’t on our shoulders.

Rachel Ali 28 March, 2023 7:34 pm

The privileged view espoused here of a rural GP who lives in a small community, ignoring the enormous impact the pandemic had and continues to have in minoritised communities should be surprising, but it isn’t. To be wrong so frequently in one column should be surprising, but it isn’t. Knowing that this doctors’ tweets are frequently retweeted and lauded by antivaxxers and conspiracy theorists should be surprising, but isn’t.
Long COVID is not only common, provable, and an ongoing problem, it is also experienced by many people who are vaccinated and had only a mild infection. Take me for example – mild COVID after 3 vaccinations has been followed by disabling cognitive impairment, POTS and (MRI proven) scarring from myocarditis. That’s some impressive psychosomatism.
The education time being lost by children now due to staff and student recurrent illness vastly outnumbers the time lost from school closures.
To not consider covid when a patient has a febrile illness suggests wilful denial rather than any evidence of it being a non-entity.
Increasing evidence suggests the mental health issues are a result of a the trauma of a pandemic not of a lockdown. Important and significant, but not to be minimised by misattribution.
As for your respondent who wishes to discuss Sweden, a closer look at what they did shows that their non-optional pandemic measures were more stringent than our second and third lockdowns, they just didn’t use that term. In fact, by the standards of most of Asia, we haven’t had a single lockdown.
What was the point of this column? It’s made clear many DENs of the author but little else.

Gianna Chadwick 28 March, 2023 8:35 pm

I find this article bizarre in its dismissal of Long Covid. It’s a real thing with measurable changes including to name but one parameter, MRI changes. We are talking about real people, including many healthcare professionals who are affected by it. Have you been following the scientific research over the past 3 years at all?

Keith M Laycock 28 March, 2023 8:56 pm

Dr Musgrave’s article raises very reasonable questions including relevant ones concerning the overall management of the SARS2 epidemic.

Whether the respondents comments to the article are acceptable, such as Dr ONeill’s final paragraph, is another question: particularly, the ‘Ever thought of checking the evidence before writing an article?

That comment suggests that the doctor has not followed her own advice. A good starting point would be the 3 full and original vaccine trials (Pfizer, Moderna, Astro-Zeneca) which demonstrated no reduction in mortality and only Absolute Risk Reductions of any SARS2 infection to be around 1% (range 0.7% – 1.1%).

It should be noted that the touted stats on the approx risk reduction of 90% were Relative Risk Reductions (RRR), a completely misleading reporting of benefit.

An example would be Pfizer’s reports of 95% RRR based on a difference of 154 cases (162 minus 8) out of 21,500 unvaccinated trial participants versus 21,500 vaccinated participants with ‘similar’ mortalities: ARR 0.7%.

Nick Mann 28 March, 2023 11:34 pm

Are you a doctor, Keith Laycock? You should know that RR reduction is the correct and usual way to report vaccine efficacy, not ARR.
There is now a vast repository of evidence which confirms the very high levels of vaccine efficacy and effectiveness for protection against death and severe disease.
In terms of Covid deaths, Sweden did marginally better than UK (not hard), but far worse than its Scandinavian comparators. Tegnell’s and Johnson’s Herd Immunity never happened and segregation of ‘the vulnerable’ was never possible. Sweden’s and UK’s approach to the pandemic is rightly condemned internationally.
Both governments took similar advice from the same group of libertarians. Some research from Sweden here:

‘Lockdown madness’ is actually that of denial: of hundreds of thousands of awful, awful deaths; of lives clung onto but barely recognisable; of those bereaved, orphaned, permanently scarred, including children; of Long Covid…I’d rather my child missed some school.

Fact check: Covid is not ‘a winter virus’, as four waves this year might imply; nor is it a respiratory pathogen. There is substantial evidence of damage to brains, hearts, kidneys, immune systems and more – even from ‘mild’ illness. Not understanding the difference from flu is worrying. To imply that Long Covid is psychosomatic is ignorant of the research and a threat to the care of your patients.

To invert the importance of the inevitable collateral harms over the massive actual physical and psychological devastation of the pandemic itself is a revisionist inversion of reality. Where on Earth were you and what have you been reading? Not the research, obviously. Awful, uninformed and misinforming article. I’m surprised to see clickbait like this on these pages.

Anonymous 29 March, 2023 6:43 am

For past three years every omission, cancellation, delay or even incompetence has been excused with a phrase ‘due to covid’ we don’t have this, we don’t do that etc.
Till this day some clinicians document their consultations starting with a phrase ‘seen in full ppe, management limited due to covid pandemic’ as if this magic spell will absolve them of all incompetence or unwillingness or whatever really they are actually wanting to subconsciously excuse.

Did we get it right? No.
Was the lockdown necessary? Nobody really knows. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe the first one was, but the rest weren’t.

Simon Sherwood 29 March, 2023 9:00 am

Thank you for writing this article. Interesting and well written as always
Whether you agree or disagree I don’t think you can describe this as offensive and that is hardly fair to do in the comments section.

We need to debate rationally and politely not shout down views we don’t like.That really does not help any cause.

David Turner 29 March, 2023 11:50 am

,…..Perhaps patients with long covid generally see a different doctor as they don’t want to be told their symptoms are ‘psychosomatic?’….

Just because a symptom may be psychosomatic does not mean it is not real. As the name implies the ‘psch’ ( central nervous system) is the origin of a problem that is experienced in the ‘soma’ ( body) . Psychosomatic does NOT imply or mean imaginary.
I thought that was worth clarifying.

Nick Mann 29 March, 2023 3:05 pm

We know what psychosomatic means. Opinions that ignore the growing evidence that the symptoms of Long Covid originate not in the mind but in the brain and other organs are ill-informed and not conducive to good patient care.

Dave Haddock 29 March, 2023 3:30 pm

“In terms of Covid deaths, Sweden did marginally better than UK (not hard)”

In terms of Covid deaths UK was pretty average.

In terms of increased deaths, without all the variation between countries as to what counts as Covid deaths, Sweden has had less excess deaths than almost any comparable country.

Lockdown may have prevented or delayed some Covid deaths, but Lockdown also resulted in an increase in the overall death rate that persisted long after Covid deaths ceased to be a significant contributor.

Dylan Summers 29 March, 2023 4:29 pm

“Whether lockdowns worked” is a hugely important topic but it is primarily a complex statistical one. I think any article on the subject would benefit from being a bit heavier on data and analysis.

Nick Mann 29 March, 2023 7:04 pm

Dave Haddock (fake name or not a doctor?); UK was not “pretty average” when comparing Covid deaths among similar Health systems. 325/100k is not pretty average.
Sweden 235/100k did significantly worse than its own comparators: Norway 96/100k; Denmark 143/100k; Finland 162/100k.

It’s likely, given the documented long-term Covid complications affecting immunocompetence and vasculopathies causing organ damage, that Covid deaths and disability will long outlast the effects of lockdown, which were temporary, finite, recoverable in the majority of cases, and were the only reasonable option at the time of unmanageable surges in deaths and hospital occupancy due to the Govt’s clear failure to establish a working Test and Trace system.

Covid is not over. Far from it. There are an average 100 deaths per day ongoing, perhaps 30,000 annually. And before you misquote flu statistics, remember to subtract those with pneumonia without flu, leaving perhaps 1,500 average annually due to flu.

Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr 29 March, 2023 9:47 pm

It is odd how entrenched views have become and I applaud Dr Musgrave for voicing her opinion against certainly what has been the dominant narrative.
I did the same thing in June of 2020. More of that in minute.
On March the 23rd I was in the “Flatten the curve camp” to the extent that I volunteered to swap my Primary care work to man one of the Local Field Hospitals. This caused my wife and 8 year old twin boys great anguish, but I felt that if I as doctor would not man the deck, then who would?
Happily I was stood down, the NHS was not overwhelmed. I remained in General Practice, 10 sessions a week face to face if required.
Except they were not required were they? The populace has heeded the advice of the Government. Boris was clear on that, it had to be essential.
I then noticed my real life experience as a clinician was rather removed from that of John Peston’s as a journalist. So I stopped listening to the Journalists.
I may have been lucky, and I accept that this is purely anecdotal, but few of my patients were lost to COVID in the first wave, none of my family, with 80+ year old parents, none of my neighbours, none of my circle of friends and colleagues.
Yet my children, were off school for 3 months, and I can tell you they suffered.
You see, it was no longer March, we knew more now.
I knew to know that what was being foisted upon our children was wrong and predicated on either falsehoods or politics…as we now know. I stated that unless the Minister of Education in my locality knew something about the Infection Fatality Rate for children, schools needed to be opened.
So I spoke out, made the front page, for voicing this radical opinion that children benefited from schooling.
The LMC took 2 steps back and a member of the public, unhappy that my Partners would not censure me for an honestly held opinion, referred me to The Ombudsman “for speaking out against the Government Advice”.
Schools opened the following week. Not down to me I hasten to add.
The straw that finally broke my back was the introduction of mask mandates, in the summer, with risk at it’s lowest.
There was no need for the delayed now published Cochrane review to know that this was pure theatre, and utterly brazen.
The same experts that told us masks were useless in March now mandated them – in the absence of any new evidence of statistical significance.
To me this was the signal that this was now an entirely political exercise.
I was very lonely in clinical practice. The same colleagues who would previously required “Gold Standard Clinical Evidence” to change their practice, folded quicker than Superman on laundry day.
I am not even going to run down the many rabbit holes of debate and allow those who, in my estimation lack the courage to accept they may have been misled, to create “Strawmen”.
What I will say is this.
Last week The Australian agency that regulates therapeutics published the Pfizer “trial data” for their MRNA vaccine.
Remember this was a new technology….

The vaccinated group suffered the same degree of parenchymal lung inflammation as the control group. = No effect
The safety data ….well there was none… So nobody could claim that it was safe OR effective
“Distribution and degradation” of the spike protein, so where it went and and how long it lasted was not studied.

now consider that alongside this
Prof. Ioannidis, the most cited academic in world, and his colleagues found that across 31 national seroprevalence studies in the pre-vaccination era, the average (median) infection fatality rate of COVID-19 was estimated to be
0.035% for people aged 0-59 years and
0.095% for those aged 0-69 years.
A further breakdown by age group found that the average IFR was
0.0003% at 0-19 years
0.003% at 20-29 years
0.011% at 30-39 years
0.035% at 40-49 years
0.129% at 50-59 years,
and 0.501% at 60-69 years.

For this we abandoned the principles of medical ethics and the oath we all took.
I would simply beg colleagues such as Nick Mann to exercise a little humility, and recognise that this has been the only ever scientific debate that silenced one side of the discussion.
Shame on us all.

David Banner 30 March, 2023 4:46 pm

A brilliant and important article that needed to be written. Those commenting that Pulse were reckless in publishing it should think again. Dr Musgrove is NOT stating opinions, merely asking questions, as any analytical GP should. In these polarised times there is a growth of arrogance in those who believe they are 100% right, and look to shut down debate from “deluded” dissenters. But questioning narratives and debating issues is at the core of medical progress.
It isn’t a matter of right and wrong, but a balance of benefit and risk. Nobody, including Dr Musgrove, questions the first lockdown, but there were many borderline decisions to make after the first wave. Here are a few examples.
– Closing schools may have reduced transmission, but was it worth jeopardising the educational future of a generation of children?
– Did statisticians presenting worst case scenarios help or hinder? Were they merely protecting themselves from criticism? Predict a million deaths and 100000 die, you receive gongs. Predict a thousand deaths and the same 100000 die you are sacked and disgraced. (Ferguson et al predicted calamity even with the relatively benign Omacron variant, yet nobody takes them to task)
– Was keeping hospitals functioning in 2020/21 worth the inevitable chaos it caused in 2022/23?
– Vaccinating vulnerable adults almost certainly reduced deaths, but was vaccinating healthy children against an illness with vanishingly low death risk but real if rare serious side effects really justified?
– Was threatening NHS/care staff refusing vaccinations with the sack and branding them as killers a reasonable step to protect the vulnerable or a shocking violation of their basic human tights?
– Was the inevitable steep rise in mental health/alcoholism rates by locking healthy frightened people in their homes for months justified?
– Does the 2023 excess death rate from undiagnosed cancers, heart attacks etc outweigh the lives saved by lockdowns?
– Was it really necessary to dismiss the Lab Leak theory as crazy conspiracy theory when it now looks very likely?
– Was mandating (paper/cloth) masks a sensible protection, or did it give vulnerable patients a dangerously false sense of security when the evidence then and now was so poor?
– Was paying billions of pounds to people to watch Netflix all day instead of going to work worth the inevitable economic turmoil it produced?

And so on. I don’t pretend to know the answers, nor does Dr Musgrove, but they are important questions that need balanced analysis if we are to learn from any mistakes for when there is another inevitable Pandemic.
And kudos to Dr Musgrove, who has bravely written several contentious and provocative articles for Pulse already. Long may she continue to be the one asking the awkward necessary questions.

Dave Haddock 30 March, 2023 4:49 pm

Incidence of coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths in Europe as of January 13, 2023, by country(per 100,000 population)
Portugal 250.63
Spain 248.06
France 245.37
Austria 242.06
Liechtenstein 224.53
Sweden 219.27
Estonia 217.08
Bulgaria 548.6
Hungary 496.39
Bosnia and Herzegovina 494.54
North Macedonia 461.89
Montenegro 444.7
Croatia 437.19
Slovenia 425.7
Georgia 423.87
Czechia 395.01
Slovakia 382.31
San Marino 356.53
Romania 349.01
Lithuania 340.5
Gibraltar 329.47
Greece 326.86
Latvia 324.74
Poland 312.56
Italy 310.89
United Kingdom 297.79

Note UK 297 – looks very average, and a lot lower from some other countries.
Note the lowest – Sweden.

David Banner 30 March, 2023 5:16 pm

Just a few more…….
– Can we untangle the web of “deaths from Covid” from the “deaths with Covid”? RTA fatalities who tested positive 3 weeks earlier didn’t boost confidence in the figures.
– Was the 2020 Great Barrington Declaration really a right wing fruitcake conspiracy document, or in fact a sensible suggestion to isolate and protect the vulnerable whilst the rest of us got on with running the show?
– Was our slow return to F2F a sensible precaution following guidelines, or a dereliction of duty our patients will never forgive us for?
– Long Covid has indeed blighted the lives of some previously healthy patients. But let’s be honest, you don’t need to be Mystic Meg to have guessed the identity of the majority of patients who would inevitably blame their TATT on Long Covid
– Once it rapidly became clear that vaccination neither stopped people catching nor spreading Covid, why were healthy adults still being harangued into being jabbed?
– Why were the press so compliant with zealous lockdown diktats , branding rule breakers Covidiots for walking in the Peaks? Isn’t the job of the media to question governments and hold them to account? Especially a government led by one Boris Johnson!

Dave Haddock 30 March, 2023 5:17 pm

The ONS has some stats; Excess
mortality rate per 100,000 Jan 2020 – Dec 2021
UK 126
France 124
Italy 227
Netherlands 140
Spain 186
Austria 107
Sweden 91

So UK not particularly high. Sweden, least restrictions, lowest excess mortality, despite dire predictions of the consequences of not enforcing strict lockdown.

However in the UK, as elsewhere in most of Europe excess mortality remained raised post Covid – this was not seen in Sweden.

Dave Haddock 30 March, 2023 5:24 pm

Sweden tried the experiment; minimal lockdowns compared to Europe, but the lowest excess death rate in Europe.

Nick Mann 30 March, 2023 6:26 pm

Masks work, the vaccines work, lockdowns work. Covid is an insidious systemic illness with significant evidence of long term complications, even in children and even after mild illness. Covid was a leading cause of death in children in the first 2yrs of the pandemic in UK and US. By all means remain in your Great Barrington Declaration echo chamber, but you would have done well to follow Independent Sage’s regular factual evidence updates. Clearly you didn’t.

Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr 30 March, 2023 7:37 pm

I am not sorry that I take a different viewpoint to you.
I am sorry however that you, as fellow professional have no respect for me and my my opinion.
Your most recent post amounts to “I am right you are wrong …..Just shut up!!!
Yet your lack of scrutiny explains why we are where we are.
1. “Masks work…” I would counter with the “delayed” Cochrane Review Prior to Sage, Cochrane was The Global Gold Standard of Medical evidence that shaped clinical practice
2. “Vaccines work…” Only a fool would dispute this ….but the MRNA variety granted an emergency licence… not so much….
3. “Lockdowns work ….” Of course they do. If you isolate people you will reduce transmission.

There are no solutions to problems Nick, there are only trade offs, and they cost.
I happen to believe that, on reflection, the abandonment of civil liberty, destruction of large swathes of the economy, the lonely deaths of thousands of old people, the perversion of scientific processes like PCR, State imposed inaccuracies on legal documents, and the abandonment of medical ethics such as informed consent to just scratch the surface was too great a cost for me, but not for you. 🤷🏼‍♂️

James Cuthbertson 30 March, 2023 7:48 pm

Some thoughts….

The dead don’t get a say

I loved the first lockdown- it felt like the insanity of the modern world was put on hold. Second not so much

I was lucky enough not to be isolated and with family I loved.

I have no idea if this means I think they were or weren’t justified. Sometimes you just need to have no opinion

Dave Haddock 1 April, 2023 5:17 pm

Covid Deaths by age group 3 Jan 2020 to 7 May 2021
<1 2
1-4 1
5-9 3
10-14 9
15-19 22

There are typically around 3,000 deaths in the 0-15 year age group per year.
Difficult to believe Covid was a leading cause of death in that age group at any time.

Peter Clayton 7 April, 2023 8:47 am


Decorum Est 7 April, 2023 2:39 pm

‘I have no idea if this means I think they were or weren’t justified. Sometimes you just need to have no opinion.’ James Cuthbertson above.
That’s an honest and intellectually humble response.

(Or just recognise that there are completely divergent opinions even among the ‘presumed’ experts!)

Sujoy Biswas 9 April, 2023 9:40 am

Well done Dr Musgrove a brave article that needed writing and it did a fantastic job of firing up the handsfacespacestaysafe brigade, hopefully the more they spend their time running around in their tin hats and cheap masks and howling outrage, the less they will be involved in evidence based critical medicine.. a good result for us all especially patients.