Friday, August 27, 2021

Lockdowns don’t just save lives, they cost lives too

Robert Bezimienny writes from Australia

As a practising doctor, it has become clear to me over the past 18 months that lockdowns not only inflict a financial cost – they also cost lives. The decision to impose a lockdown is not as simple as society making sacrifices to save lives. The decision is between losing lives to COVID-19 and losing lives to lockdowns.

The lives lost to COVID-19 are highly visible. In contrast, the lives lost to lockdowns have been and remain largely invisible.

Every life has equal moral value and our aim should be to reduce as many unnecessary deaths as possible, not just reduce deaths attributed to COVID-19.When I see a patient presenting with a disease that could have been diagnosed months, or even a year, earlier, I feel sad, angry and frustrated. The patient is not going to do as well. The difference can be as stark as that between a cure and the prospect of death.

During lockdown last year, patients avoided seeing GPs and specialists. Lockdowns made them fear stepping outside. They missed screening tests for breast cancer, for bowel cancer, for heart disease. Consequently, there will be an increased number of deaths from these conditions in the years to come.

While this avoidance will cost thousands of Australian lives, that toll feels less immediate than an unwell patient today. But lockdowns and the fear they provoke have done more than cost lives in future years – they are costing lives right now.

In the first lockdown, a patient with a lump was too scared to come in and see us at our practice. He will not do as well. The constant news stories had already made him fearful, but the lockdown had made him absolutely terrified. Once lockdown eased, he presented for a consultation, was examined and diagnosed with cancer – but the delay has affected his prognosis.

Another patient was referred to a specialist but deferred his appointment as he did not want to approach a hospital during lockdown. Once lockdown ended, he continued to defer his appointment as he waited for the world to return to normal. By the time he saw a specialist, a rare cancer had spread. This year he underwent palliative treatment. Sadly, he is now dead.

During lockdowns, patients have used the telephone and internet for consultations. This is much better than no consultation but it is not as good as seeing a patient in person. When a very old woman with multiple health problems called our practice with a cough, she was convinced that it was her bronchitis and she received two courses of antibiotics over the telephone. The cough persisted and despite great resistance she was persuaded to come in and allow a doctor to examine her. She did not have bronchitis, she had a much more serious condition: multiple blood clots throughout her lung – pulmonary emboli. She was hospitalised and pulled through.

A friend of mine is an emergency department specialist. During lockdowns he has seen people die from late presentations. He has seen more people die than he has ever seen before. Patients think it is dangerous to leave their own house, so those with chest pain stay at home and when they finally call an ambulance, a treatable heart attack has become fatal. Patients with strokes are too scared to go hospital and miss out on acute treatment that would have limited the damage to their brain. Patients with bacterial infections that would be simple to treat with prompt intravenous antibiotics wait at home and become septic and die.

The incidence of anxiety and depression has not just increased during lockdowns – it has exploded. In Australia, it has more than doubled. Depression can lead to suicide and every year 3000 Australians take their own lives. Many of them are young and their deaths are not visible.

If lockdowns are justified on the basis of potential lives saved, the actual lives lost to lockdowns must also be acknowledged.


Johns Hopkins Doctor Easily Shreds the Narratives Behind Forcing Kids to Mask Up for COVID

Kids generally don't get Covid or spread it, despite the panic porn you see on CNN. And even with this Delta wave and the school year upon us, has the media noted why other nations have not mandated kids to wear masks in class? It does more harm than good. What's the science behind masking kids? There's virtually none. Yes, the "I am science" crowd led by Fauci the Clown has next to nothing devoted to this question.

Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins has been at the forefront of trying to get science-based advice to the public. He's one of the few medical guests that talks about naturally acquired immunity, noting that over 100 million Americans probably already had and recovered from the infection, which bodes well for herd immunity given the vaccination rates. Yet, on this question, he takes the forced mask-wearing for kids narrative to the woodshed by citing…the science (via WSJ):

Do masks reduce Covid transmission in children? Believe it or not, we could find only a single retrospective study on the question, and its results were inconclusive. Yet two weeks ago the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sternly decreed that 56 million U.S. children and adolescents, vaccinated or not, should cover their faces regardless of the prevalence of infection in their community. Authorities in many places took the cue to impose mandates in schools and elsewhere, on the theory that masks can’t do any harm.

That isn’t true. Some children are fine wearing a mask, but others struggle. Those who have myopia can have difficulty seeing because the mask fogs their glasses. (This has long been a problem for medical students in the operating room.) Masks can cause severe acne and other skin problems. The discomfort of a mask distracts some children from learning. By increasing airway resistance during exhalation, masks can lead to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. And masks can be vectors for pathogens if they become moist or are used for too long.

In March, Ireland’s Department of Health announced that it won’t require masks in schools because they “may exacerbate anxiety or breathing difficulties for some students.” Some children compensate for such difficulties by breathing through their mouths. Chronic and prolonged mouth breathing can alter facial development. It is well-documented that children who mouth-breathe because adenoids block their nasal airways can develop a mouth deformity and elongated face.


What about the risk of Covid, which mask mandates are intended to ameliorate? The CDC reports that for the week of July 31 the rate of hospitalization with Covid for children 5 to 17 was 0.5 per 100,000, which would amount to roughly 250 patients. The CDC acknowledges that not all of these children were in the hospital for Covid: Viral testing at admission is routine, even for patients who have no Covid symptoms. Children who do develop Covid symptoms are at minimal risk of “long Covid,” according to a Lancet study published Aug. 3: “Almost all children had symptom resolution by 8 weeks, providing reassurance about long-term outcomes.”


We have been encouraging Americans to wear masks since the beginning of the pandemic. But special attention should be paid to the many children who struggle with masks. Public-health officials claim to base their decisions and guidance on science, but there’s no science behind mask mandates for children. A new research study by one of us (Dr. Makary) and his Johns Hopkins colleagues found that of the $42 billion the National Institutes of Health spent on research last year, less than 2% went to Covid clinical research and not a single grant was dedicated to studying masks in children.

In the absence of data, mask mandates have ignited a culture war.

Well, who saw that coming, the cultural war aspects to all of this? Fauci and the CDC peddled nonsense on child masking for months. Then, when the CDC was caught colluding with teachers' unions to keep schools closed, the political element was further intensified. What's more, is that a lot of the doomsday scenarios in the spring never came true. Then, troves of Fauci's emails were revealed, with one noting that store-bought masks are ineffective at curbing the spread of COVID. Fauci also said at the outset that we shouldn't wear masks. Now, it's just cover your face. It doesn't matter what kind of mask; it could be a cloth.

So, what's the science behind that, chief? There is none. It's all about control. And now these medical fascist pigs are coming after the kids. We talk about endless wars. Fauci and bureaucrats want an endless pandemic.

"Any child who wants to wear a mask should be free to do so. But forcing them to make personal, health and developmental sacrifices for the sake of adults who refuse to get immunized is abusive," wrote Makary. "Before we order the masking of 56 million Americans who are too young to vote and don't have a lobby, let's see data showing the benefits and weigh them against the long-term harm."

That's pretty reasonable.




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