The data is in: lockdowns serve no useful purpose and cause catastrophic societal and economic harms.
They must never be repeated in this country.
The ‘sunk cost fallacy’ is a well known one. World War 1 is the classic example. By Christmas 1914 it was obvious to all that the war was a catastrophe, but to admit this was to admit that all the lives lost had been lost pointlessly. And no country would confess that.
However, after a year of pain, suffering and enormous loss, the UK must reach for new solutions to the COVID-19 problem and any future respiratory disease outbreaks. We must learn from errors, acknowledge the harms of the measures we have taken and account for them moving forward. We now need a more holistic, measured approach.
Many international studies bear out that lockdowns have proven to be a complete failure as a public health measure to contain a respiratory virus. They did not succeed in their primary objective of containing spread yet have caused great harm.
Lockdowns were explicitly not recommended even for severe respiratory viral outbreaks in all pandemic planning prior to 2020, including those endorsed by the WHO and the Department of Health. The reasons for ignoring existing policies and adopting unprecedented measures appear to have been (i) panic whipped up by the media (especially scenes from China), (ii) a reluctance to do things differently to neighbouring countries and (iii) the unfaltering belief in one single mathematical model, which latterly turned out to be wildly inaccurate Imperial College, Neil Ferguson.