Peer-Reviewed Study Shows Lockdowns Do Not Work

January 20, 2021

A new peer-reviewed study shows that lockdowns are not effective in stopping covid spread, and that stay-at-home orders may facilitate transmission.

A brand new study by Stanford University, peer-reviewed and accepted for publication, questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in preventing the covid spread, shows that they do not work. The paper, – entitled, “Assessing Mandatory Stay-at-Home and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of covid-19” and published in the “European Journal of Clinical Investigation” – found no evidence to support that stay-at-home orders affecting people’s lives and economies are effective.

Study found that extreme measures taken to force everyone to stay home and for businesses to close – which it calls “Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions” or NPIs – were not effective in any country in stopping the spread of covid-19, and that may even facilitate covid transmission. “Given the consequences of these policies,” authors write, “it is important to assess their effects. We evaluate the effects on epidemic case growth of more restrictive NPIs (mrNPIs), above and beyond those of less restrictive NPIs (lrNPIs).” … “We first estimate covid-19 case growth in relation to any NPI implementation in subnational regions of 10 countries: England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, and the US. …  We use case growth in Sweden and South Korea, two countries that did not implement mandatory stay-at-home and business closures, as comparison countries for the other 8 countries (16 total comparisons).”

Study continues: “We do not question the role of all public health interventions, or of coordinated communications about the epidemic, but we fail to find an additional benefit of stay-at-home orders and business closures. The data cannot fully exclude the possibility of some benefits.However, even if they exist, these benefits may not match the numerous harms of these aggressive measures. More targeted public health interventions that more effectively reduce transmissions may be important for future epidemic control without the harms of highly restrictive measures.”

The researchers also examined the potential of stay-at-home orders facilitating spread of the virus. “The direction of the effect size in most scenarios”, thay explain, “point towards an increase in the case growth rate, though these estimates are only distinguishable from zero in Spain (consistent with non-beneficial effect of lockdowns). … While it is hard to draw firm conclusions from these estimates, they are consistent with a recent analysis that identified increase transmission and cases in Hunan, China during the period of stay-at-home orders from increased intra-household density and transmission. In other words, it is possible that stay-at-home orders may facilitate transmission if they increase person-to-person contact where transmission is efficient such as closed spaces.”

Study concludes: “After subtracting the epidemic and lrNPI effects, we find no clear, significant beneficial effect of mrNPIs on case growth in any country. … While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions.”

Full Study: “Assessing Mandatory Stay-at-Home and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of covid-19”