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The Great Barrington Declaration

The Great Barrington Declaration states that keeping lockdown policies in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged and young disproportionately harmed. The declaration was authored and signed on October 4th by three doctors of epidemiology, immunology and public health from Stanford, Oxford and Harvard Universities.

This policy statement has its detractors, as does just about every issue these days; but it has also been endorsed by thousands of physicians, scientists, and health experts from around the world. They write, “As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.”

They note that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young; and for children, the virus is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health, such as lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health. This failure to properly detect and treat other illnesses today will cause greater mortality in years to come.

It continues, “All populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.

“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”

The declaration stipulates that adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19, while those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. See

A World Health Organization expert says much the same, that lockdowns should not be the primary means of controlling coronavirus. Watch

There will always be uncertainty, no matter which path is taken to manage this pandemic. Managing risks while avoiding enormous collateral damage was never going to be easy. There must be a middle way between continuous lock downs and reckless abandon; we will find it.

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