What are the harms of lockdown?

You would think that governments always do a cost-benefit analysis before embarking on a certain course of action, especially if it is likely to have significant effects on many different aspects of society. The global lockdowns in response to the covid pandemic probably constitute the largest, most extreme measures taken by western governments since the second world war. So, you would think a careful cost-benefit analysis would have been done before the decision was made to lock down. read more

Why did Sweden have more covid deaths than its neighbors?

One of the arguments that has been used in support of strict lockdown is that Sweden has had significantly more covid deaths than its nordic neighbours. On the 19th of November, Sweden had registered 637 covid deaths per million people. For comparison, Denmark had registered 140, Norway had registered 57, and Finland had registered 69. read more

How many years of life are lost to covid?

A few weeks back I wrote an article about how high the risk of dying from covid is. I mentioned that a senior representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) had recently said that the WHO’s best estimate was that roughly one in 750 people who get infected die of the disease. I also mentioned a study published by the WHO, authored by professor John Ioannidis at Stanford University, which was based on antibody data. That study estimated that the mortality rate for covid was around 0,23% overall, which would mean that roughly one in 430 people who are infected overall die of the disease, and 0,05% for people under 70, which would mean that if you’re under 70, the risk of dying of covid is about one in 2,000. read more

New evidence on the effectiveness of lockdown

A few weeks back I wrote an article about an observational study published in Lancet that, among other things, looked at whether there was any correlation between stringency of lockdown and the number of people who died of covid. It didn’t find any correlation, which suggests that lockdowns don’t work. That study did have some major limitations however. read more

Covid-19: New evidence on face masks

A few months back I wrote an article about the state of the evidence on face masks. At that point, there were no good studies looking at the effectiveness of face masks in preventing the spread of covid-19 specifically, but there was a systematic review that looked at all randomized trials that had been done on face masks for the prevention of respiratory infections more generally. That review found that surgical face masks reduced the probability of getting a respiratory infection by around 4% in absolute terms (17% in relative terms). read more