British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being advised regarding the “second wave” of coronavirus infections in the U.K. by a group known as the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which consists of specialists from academia and certain industries. Dalgleish says SAGE's recommendations regarding the coronavirus “are often based on flawed evidence which is far from scientific.”
SAGE modeled a worst-case scenario for the U.K. In their predictions, the second wave of COVID-19 daily deaths will peak at a lower level than they did in the early stages of the pandemic but will remain consistently high for several months, resulting in more deaths than usual. This worst-case scenario will only occur, according to SAGE, if the country does not impose a “circuit breaker national lockdown.”
Dalgleish insists that the Prime Minister and his advisers need to scrutinize the evidence presented by SAGE.
Dalgleish admits that the number of people admitted to hospitals due to the coronavirus is on the rise. However, he believes that the rates are still manageable. Furthermore, the medical researcher points out that the number of COVID-19 fatalities in the country is extremely low. Dalgleish says that, from Oct. 10 to 16, there were 10,534 deaths in the whole country, and only 670 were due to the coronavirus.
“Every death is a tragedy for the individual and the families concerned, but we must not lose sight of the fact that this is a virus fatal mainly to the elderly or those with underlying conditions.”
What concerns Dalgleish most regarding the possibility of a second national lockdown in the U.K. is the negative effect it will have on people's mental health, specifically on the mental health of young people. According to Dalgleish, he has observed a “disturbing rise” in the number of young people in Britain committing suicide. (Related: Nearly half of America is now suffering from mental illness due to lockdowns – was it really worth it?)
He has even written a different opinion piece on the Daily Mail regarding the fact that two of his own colleagues were driven to despair and suicide due to the repressive nature of Britain's lockdown.
According to Dalgleish, a young research assistant he worked with committed suicide because the lockdown and the coronavirus left the person “feeling isolated and broken by the loss of normal human interaction.” Another colleague of Dalgleish's, a respected doctor he knew since they were both young, was also overcome with “profound despair at the loneliness and anxiety” created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dalgleish argues that not only will a lockdown not affect the country's growing number of infections, but it will also cause businesses to fail and unemployment to rise.
The economic destruction that a lockdown will cause will do more harm to the country's health. Dalgleish says that it will lead to an inevitable decline in physical and mental health, as people will become impoverished by the loss of their jobs, and people isolated from society will end up miserable and distressed.
“The [National Health Service] is dependent on tax revenues,” argues Dalgleish. “Empty public coffers are bound to lead next to unmanned wards and understaffed clinics. What makes the Government's heavy-handed approach even worse is that it is not even working on its own terms.”
To end his opinion piece, Dalgleish asked Johnson: “If lockdown were a drug, would it be approved by NICE – the body that balances the cost of a proposed treatment against the benefits it would bring? By the Government's own admission, it would not.”
Dalgleish's frustration with the ineffectiveness of lockdowns led him to become one of the founding signatories of the Great Barrington Declaration, which calls for governments to move away from lockdowns as their main strategy to fighting the coronavirus. Instead, Dalgleish and over 30,000 medical professionals who signed the document argue that governments should focus on minimizing mortality and social harm.
Learn more about how extended and repressive lockdowns do more harm than good to societies battling the coronavirus by reading the latest articles at Pandemic.news.