“Lockdowns don’t work!”

“Lockdowns don’t work!”

Sorry, reality disagrees. This graph shows Covid-19 infection rates from the Government’s data as of today. I have superimposed pink boxes showing the 2nd lockdown (5th November–2nd December) and 3rd lockdown (4th January, ongoing.

This isn’t complicated.

8 responses to ““Lockdowns don’t work!”

  1. Depends what you mean by ‘work’. They make the virus spread slower than it would without a lock-down.

    If by ‘work’ you mean ‘reduce the spread rate below one’ then sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, and I don’t think anyone knows what makes the difference.

    In the absence of vaccines they don’t ‘work’ at all, in the sense that they don’t actually get you any closer to solving the problem and returning to normality; they just delay having to deal with it.

  2. That is demonstrably false, as New Zealand and some other countries have effectively eliminated the virus long before the availability of vaccines.

  3. You think that “New Zealand: Auckland to go into seven-day Covid lockdown. Restrictions in country’s biggest city to be imposed after single Covid case of unknown origin was recorded” is a counter-argument that shows lockdowns don’t work? Ooookay.

  4. It shows that ‘In the absence of vaccines they don’t ‘work’ at all, in the sense that they don’t actually get you any closer to solving the problem and returning to normality; they just delay having to deal with it.’

    New Zealand has not solved the problem and returned to normality (‘at any point your entire city might be ordered to shut down entirely for a week’ — as has happened three times since they ‘effectively eliminated the virus’, and will happen again — is very very far from normal).

    All its lockdowns have done is delayed dealing with the problem and getting back to normal. And if there were no working vaccines, all New Zealand would be doing is continually delaying their return to normal, indefinitely.

  5. If you can’t see the profound, radical difference between life in New Zealand and in the UK on the last year, then … well, I don’t believe that you can’t see it, I think you are now arguing for the sake of arguing. Lockdowns don’t work if your definition of “work” is “permanently eradicate the virus such that it can never ever return, not even when someone from outside the country brings it in”, then sure, they don’t “work”. I don’t believe anyone is interested in such a definition.

  6. Lockdowns don’t work if your definition of “work” is “permanently eradicate the virus such that it can never ever return, not even when someone from outside the country brings it in”, then sure, they don’t “work”.

    My definition of ‘work’ is, I think, the only reasonable one, which is, ‘get society back to normal as quickly as possible’.

    You’re not going to find me defending the UK’s approach over the past year! Our government bet everything on the vaccines turning up; in the event they got lucky, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have been working towards us getting back to normal without them in case they didn’t, or in case they took the years and years that they could quite easily have done.

    As for life in New Zealand… if you turned on a Doctor Who where the TARDIS landed and the crew emerged onto an empty street; after wandering around the deserted city for a while they see a police patrol, but before they can approach they are called over by a kid hiding in a doorway who tells them it’s lockdown, and if the police see them they will be put in prison; and then a noise blares out, and the kids says, ‘That’s the all-clear, we can go out now’ and suddenly the streets fill with people going about their daily business, and before slipping off into the crowds the kid tells them that if they ever hear the alert siren, which could come at any time of the day or night, then they have to get off the streets immediately on pain of punishment, until the all-clear sounds — oh and plus, they have to have all their movements monitored every time they enter a public place, be regularly tested for a disease and if they are found to be carriers they have to go to a quarantine facility and if they refuse the police will come and force them to go…

    … would you think, ‘oh, well, that sounds like a perfectly normal society they’ve landed in, I’d love to live there’?

    Because that’s life in New Zealand for the foreseeable future.

  7. And if you look at what’s currently happening in the Baltics, where there were relatively few deaths in the first wave, you can again see that lockdowns don’t solve, but merely delay, dealing with the problem.

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