The risk of mortality from COVID-19 follows a sharp age gradient, with older populations facing a thousand fold higher risk of death upon infection than children. At the same time, the COVID policy over the past year and a half has featured lockdowns – policies aimed at minimizing human interactions – that have caused enormous collateral damage, to whole populations without protecting older populations from infection. In this talk, I discuss an alternate strategy – the Great Barrington Declaration – for managing the pandemic, which features focused protection of vulnerable people and a end to COVID restrictions since the lockdowns harm the non-vulnerable more than COVID. I present evidence that countries which have used the incredibly effective COVID vaccines in service of focused protection of the elderly, have decoupled COVID cases from COVID deaths. I present evidence that lockdown policies have caused enormous harm to other important public health priorities, including childhood vaccination, cancer prevention, diabetes management and prevention of food insecurity. Finally, I present evidence that the lockdowns have failed in particular to protect minority and poor population in the US.
1. Break down how COVID-19 mortality increases sharply with age; there is a thousand fold difference in the mortality rate after infection between the youngest and oldest.
2. Explain how the lockdowns and COVID restrictions have had severe adverse effects on non-COVID public health priorities, including cancer screening and treatment in developed countries, and the prevention of hunger and poverty in poor countries.
3. Explain how the lockdowns have had an enormously unequal impact, protecting richer population from COVID mortality, while exposing poorer populations at high rates to COVID