Opinion: We are infectious disease experts. It’s time to lift the COVID-19 lockdowns

Canada needs a hospital capacity-based approach to guide local lifting and reintroduction of restrictive measures as necessary

By Neil Rau, Susan Richardson, Martha Fulford, and Dominik Mertz

The past two months have shown that with major sacrifices, the community transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus could be slowed down. In Canada, we can rightfully say that we were able to “flatten the curve” to avert a northern Italy or New York City scenario.  Now we face the unintended consequences: delays in medical care for non-COVID-19 patients, educational impacts, the looming pandemic of mental-health issues, and massive economic repercussions.  Widespread restrictions certainly cannot be sustained until an effective and safe vaccine is widely available, which may not occur for years, if ever.  And the virus is unlikely to disappear from Canada or the world any time soon.  (See link for article) 



The first question that comes to mind is why would we want community transmission to slow down? It’s long been known and accepted that viruses run their course. Why not just get it over with? The more people exposed to a virus, the quicker herd immunity is reached. Many epidemiologists are stating that “flattening the curve” only extends it.  For sure, the elderly and infirm should protect themselves, but the more healthy people exposed, the better.

Please remember that the reason for the initial measures taken were to protect hospitals from becoming overloaded – which never happened anywhere.  NY had a slight increase.  For the most part, hospitals are abandoned and medical workers are being laid off.

Epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski, points out the CDC director, Dr. Redfield, presented data which should have had people jumping to their feet. There were 3 spikes in the 2019-2020 flu season:

  • late December (influenza B)
  • late January (influenza A)
  • early March (COVID-19)

For this last peak to happen patients had to go through a 7 day incubation period and then have symptoms. Then in early April (4 weeks later) infections were already down. At his point the government should have stated it had been overly cautious, but they didn’t want to admit their error and now there are 30 million unemployed in the US and companies going bankrupt.

To see the graph Redfield presented (the red line represents 2019-2020 and it clearly plummeted)


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