Dr. David Nabarro, World Health Organization special envoy on COVID, is arguing for the middle way to have robust defenses against the virus without using lockdowns as the primary control method. Nabarro says “The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
Nabarro says lockdowns make poor people an awful lot poorer. World poverty could double by next year and child malnutrition could double. The poverty and malnutrition impacts are from the broad lockdowns.
The alternatives are to work but to minimize physical interactions within 6 feet, mass mask-wearing, face shields, automation for more effective contact tracing, more testing, improved hand cleaning and other improvements for keeping the air and surfaces cleaner.
Nextbigfuture has been working with some innovators on COVID. A startup called, Wewryst, has a wearable hand dispenser for hand cleaning. This is an incremental improvement to make it easier for higher frequency hand cleaning.
There is a DIY approach to filtering the air of COVID using MERV13 filters and box fans.
At 34 minutes of the Spectator interview, Nabarro talks about a local integrated response. People can reduce the risk by working with senior homes, churches, factories and prisons.
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
61 thoughts on “WHO Doctor Nabarro Says We Must Fight COVID Without Lockdowns”
If you feel like getting one yourself, there's the DIY one that George Church took. I think you snort it.
A deliberate misunderstanding on how death certificates are filled out. The 6% were the death certificate that were incorrectly filled out. By the way, the flu kills about 50,000 Americans annually. A number that is ridiculously high especially since there is a vaccine. Some people just don't give a damn about themselves and others.
One of the problem people have with exponential growth is how slow it seems to grow until it just explodes at the end. The number of test cases is 8 million. I think the true # of infected is between 10% and 20%. It takes a several weeks to double. Lets start at 10%, we will use a month for the doubling. So, it will be 20%, 40%, 80%. Just 3 months more.
It won't be a pure exponential growth since the more people who have the harder it becomes to spread. Also, people will react to it by social distancing when it explodes. So about a month or two from now the spread will slow down. But it will reach the 50% at least, maybe even the 70% for Herd Immunity.
The probability that it would kill young healthy people is minuscule. The probability that having this thing spread around by the young, who believe themselves to be invulnerable to people that are vulnerable, with many of them dying is a certainty.
You act like we haven't any idea if these vaccines do a thing. That just is not true. They look even in phase 1 to see if they express the antibodies and such.
That makes sense, but only if the vaccine is well tested. By getting these busy people vaccinated they are spreading it much less, that does help the more vulnerable. But the second it is truly ready, 180 degree pivot to the vulnerable. I would go with the over 85, and the small number of kids with serious conditions that make them vulnerable, then the over 65 in general, and then anyone left out.
Reality will probably be "essential workers" and military first, then, first come, first serve. Maybe I am being cynical. Perhaps they will prioritize the 85+ crowd, and the sickly kids. I hope so.
You don't have any evidence if the Pfizer vaccine is effective or whether it's safe for the public, but you think the "benefits outweigh the risks". What scientific methodology did you use to come to that conclusion?
Even if the FDA allowed Pfizer to distribute the vaccine today, there's no guarantee it will save even one life. That's why they do trials. And they also do them so that they can ensure the vaccine isn't harmful. If you got your way, you might end up distributing a vaccine that kills people. It's happened before in the 1950s with polio and again in the 1970s with Swine Flu.
And if it happens again, think of all the irreparable harm it could do to the COVID fight as a whole. The public, outraged that some moron greenlighted an untested vaccine that kills a lot of people, will rage against the government and demand a more thorough and longer testing process. It could then be years before the FDA approved a vaccine. Then how many more people would die because you couldn't be patient for 3 months.
Multiply your 214K death toll by 0.06% and we are talking about a bad flu.
No wash your hands frequently. Your hands won't fall off just because you wash them. How do doctors cope? They wash their hands all the time.
I think we should vaccinate the vulnerable first and the ones unlikely to suffer seriously only later. I am, due to age, in the high risk group. As soon as a vaccine becomes available for me I will get it.
Of course hindsight is a 100% science. We have to deal with what we have now and try to do better in the future, and there won't be one for the person who succumbs to the current problem.
More frequent hand washing? Everything in moderation right? The bacteria on our hands have a purpose that is not fully understood. Every surface of human skin is covered with varying species and densities of bacteria, naturally competing with each other for resources. When that balance of good bacteria is altered by frequent hand washing, its opens up "landing areas" for other microbes that are less symbiotic, and with no competition from the good bacteria they can gain a foothold and compromise health. Cherish your balance of microbiota, wash your hands only when they are truly "dirty".
There are different lists as to what the Phases are: https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/clinical-trials/what-you-need-to-know/phases-of-clinical-trials.html
At 800-1000 deaths a day in the US, you say it is not worth it, basically. Better to wait another 3 months and throw 72,000 people under the bus? Admittedly, we are not going to save all those 72,000 people by vaccinating 100,000,000 people but maybe we would save half. It is not about being absolutely certain that it works precisely as expected. If we do this, it is about doing something premature with low risk, that can save tens of thousands of lives. And we use all the vaccines in phase 2 or 3 if there are 5 then 20% get vaccine A…
Ok, this is from the CDC, so this must be what they are after in the Phases: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/infographics/journey-of-child-vaccine.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fvaccines%2Fparents%2Finfographics%2Fjourney-of-child-vaccine-text.html
The CDC is looking to see if the benefits outweigh the risks…to the person given a vaccine. I am looking at the whole community and looking at the benefits outweighing the risks to everyone. As long as they are informed of the risks, and volunteer, I think it is totally justified. We go to war over far less victims, putting people in harm's way. This is far less risky, and can save tens of thousands of lives.
better to stay in my basement than be a total @ss like you. have you murdered your parents yet?
We need policies that better address the different coronavirus impact across age groups.
The CDC estimated that seniors have roughly 1800x the IFR risk (of dying) compared to children under 20. https://reason.com/2020/09/29/the-latest-cdc-estimates-of-covid-19s-infection-fatality-rate-vary-dramatically-with-age/
To help seniors stay at home, pay all delivery fees (plus a fixed tip) for anyone 65 and older, provided the delivery service takes specified precautions.
Institute "Senior Hours" (say 9am to noon and 8pm to 10pm) in all parks – no one under 55 allowed, even if no seniors are present.
Given the multiple harms of keeping kids out of school, allow all kids to go to school, so long as they are not personally at risk (e.g. compromised immune system) and have zero contact (up to 2 degrees of separation) with anyone over 55". Any kids who can't meet that criteria – e.g. they live with a grandparent – could do online schooling enhanced with an hour of 1-on-1 (online) tutoring each day. Teachers over 50 might be reassigned to online teaching and tutoring – or even given the school year off with pay provided they agree to largely self-isolate at home – no taking a side job or doing volunteer work.
Lockdowns are effective, but economically destructive.
New study from CDC supports something I'd mentioned previously: Here in AZ we did the lockdown, then mostly re-opened: cases took off. Mask policies were implemented: New cases quickly peaked and tumbled. https://www.businessinsider.com/cdc-wearing-masks-and-closing-bars-helps-stop-covid-2020-10?op=1
Now mask policies have been relaxed in some cities, kids are going back to school, lots of bars are open, people are starting to go to restaurants again – and cases are slowly trending up again. Looks like masks do help a lot, so long as people keep wearing them.
The declaration was authored by Sunetra Gupta of the University of Oxford, Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, and Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University.
Regardless of who signs it, I don't think anyone can reasonably deny that lockdowns have an economic cost. Of course, you can argue that the cost is worth it in the short term because it saves lives (although the Swedes disagree). OTOH you can argue the cost is not sustainable because it causes poverty and crippling government debt. That, however, would not be the case if taxpayers were willing to foot the bill for lockdown costs, but sadly people seem to believe that money grows on trees.
That to me is the true lesson of COVID 19. People like lockdowns as long as they don't have to pay for them. The interesting thought that spurs is – would people be in favor of them if they suddenly had to pay higher taxes?
How do you define "those who cannot control themselves". I don't think I've ever met anyone that could fully control themselves. We humans are by our very nature irrational, hyper emotional, ego driven, and given to fits of stupidity and hypocrisy. Myself included.
I remember an episode of the X Files back in the 90s. Mulder asked a genie for world peace. The genie granted his wish by disappearing every human from the planet except Mulder. A most enlightening lesson.
Phase 3 actually tests the effectiveness of the vaccine. Using it before you've finished that phase is unwarranted at best.
Pfizer's vaccine should be Phase 3 complete by late Oct although the FDA wants another month of data so late November is more likely. If all goes well, the Pfizer vaccine should be ready by December. By next June I would think anyone who wants to get it will be able to.
Hi Mark, I have not seen the exponential growth you commented about a week or so ago. I think you mentioned 180 million total cases before this thing was over.
The number of new cases is going up, but slowly. We're still a long way off from "every American family will suffer a loss".
Or we could make the people who asked for it, pay for it. You know, like when you get groceries at the store? Ya have to go to the check out stand and pay for them. Lots of folks went to the "lockdown" store. Now it's time to pay for it .
Fault is irrelevant. The reality is that if you choose to live unhealthily you are significantly increasing your chances of getting COVID. People can crow all they want that it's not their fault. Guess what? The virus doesn't care. It will still infect them. It's called reality. Embrace it.
Life is all about making choices. Each choice, good or bad, has a cost. The cost of living an unhealthy lifestyle is that it lowers your lifespan. It's your choice of course. I don't care which one you make. But if you don't want to get COVID or want others to get it then you may want to stop whining about "dont make this disease the fault of people" and start encouraging people to get healthy.
Dr. David Nabarro has a striking resemblance to Gary Kasparov…well…plus 25 years: https://grandchesstour.org/gm-garry-kasparov
Still deflecting, I see.
Hi, I already pointed out elsewhere that the data show that what you state about Covid being a 'bad flu' is incorrect:
The 2018-2019 flu season in US for the whole year was linked to 34,200 deaths and the worst flu seasons in US in the last 10 years have been the 2017-2018 one with estimated 61000 deaths (range 44k-64k) and 2014-2015 with 51000 deaths (range 46k-95k) respectively
With Covid we had 200k deaths in 9 months and the worst part of the season might still be still ahead of us
Please note also that in general flu is free to spread across the country and in general does not infect more than 20% of the population (because it is not that infective and half of the people infected is asymptomatic). Covid has an infectivity that can hit 90% of the population.
So just running numbers as they are now Covid will cause 200000/9*12=266k deaths by the end of the year assuming that it will not grow exponentially any more and will maintain a linear infection rate.
If it explodes again and goes from 10 to 90% you will see a 10x increase of the deaths so the death count will rise from 200k to 2 millions
2 millions potential deaths letting it spread like the flu compared to 34 thousands deaths of the flu.
If you consider a 'bad flu' like the Spanish flu, then I might agree with you but please note that the Spanish flu in two years infected 500 millions and killed between 17 and 100 millions so it is not even remotely comparable with what we normally consider a bad flu season.
Do you need some straw, man?
Answer my question or just don't reply.
I agree with the good doctor. We need to be smart about doing things – meaning no rallies or packed sports events – but we cannot be on lockdowns forever. Isolating and helping the most vulnerable seems like a good idea too. We need to provide temporary help to the people who lost business because of the virus. But we need to understand that some jobs may not come back so there need to be ways to re-train the workforce to do other jobs too.
Is that the one where the list of signing "doctors" turned out to include faith healers, naturopaths, and someone who claimed to be a researcher at "The university of your mom."
Not getting out enough is not part of a healthy lifestyle now? How does that make sense?
If you just claimed that some people don't have the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle, that would be defensible.
This not about health lifestyle. If you are old or do not get out enough and have very low Vitamin D you will still get covid. Don't make this disease the fault of people.
I attended school for 16 years. Since then I have spent an hour or so a day reading. Not all of it fiction. So in my case, I do my own educating. And in most people case, they do their own educating. Education is a funny thing. While it is often given, it can only be used by those who are willing to accept it.
You do realized that old people wouldn't exist if they didn't somehow improve the survival of their descendants. Mother nature is frugal, she don't keep what is unnecessary. I don't know that much about other people culture, but I know mine. Old people are a source of physical resource, financial resource and knowledge. They keep the extended family together and provide access to that resource. When they asked for a favor, it is granted. They keep the peace in the community. Often, it is only by their word does a man find a wife and a woman an husband.
That's just cold, cruel and ruthless… and how do you know how you'll feel when you're old? You'll probably act like today's older people do and not willing to die meekly…
"The monster of generation of poorly educated and irrational loons"
And just who is doing the educating again?
Or just live a healthy lifestyle. Most of the dead had underlying conditions that could have been prevented if they had done so. Type 2 diabetes, lung cancer, heart disease, morbid obesity – all easily preventable without drugs. Eat right, exercise, keep your weight down, don't smoke, do drugs, or drink to excess. Not hard to do if you care about your life and take responsibility for it.
I you cared to read, you'd notice I was more or less agreeing with you.
But thanks for the jab. I've been called all kinds of names before but commie is a new one.
The main issue for me is this… In February and March, we Americans were told not to bother with masks… But by June we were told it was mandatory.
When Fauci himself was asked during congressional testimony in late June about the sudden change, his response was that he didn't want the medical community to experience shortages: "We have to admit it, that that mixed message in the beginning, even though it was well meant to allow masks to be available for health workers, that was detrimental in getting the message across" – https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/07/01/886299190/it-does-not-have-to-be-100-000-cases-a-day-fauci-urges-u-s-to-follow-guidelines
Now, that might be an acceptable answer for some, but I found it appalling, because when you reduce what Fauci is saying to its most basic, he was ok with more people getting infected on the frontend, so long as medical professionals didn't get infected on the backend.
That sealed it for me. Fauci was no longer someone to be trusted, because his decisions assured a higher infection rate in the US.
When "flatten the curve" became "quarantine until there's a vaccine."
Yes, every life is precious and should be protected. But in cold hard numbers, a bunch of young people dying is much worse for the economy and the world than a bunch of old people. That's why the Spanish Flu was worse than this all proportions kept: a lot more young people died.
In high to middle income countries, old people use more resources and produce less. Yes, they worked and earned their retirements, but let's not pretend the impact of losing them is the same as a war where mostly youngsters die.
Obviously, I was going to get negative votes. But perhaps they could be accompanied by some reasoning? Phase 1 is about safety. The vaccines I was suggesting already passed safety. Phase 2 is effectiveness. Does it do what it is supposed to do? Phase 3 is determining best dose and often comparison with the other options. As there currently is no approved vaccine, they would just be looking at dose, and how many doses, how much time between doses and such.
There is some risk that people getting vaccines could get a false sense of security, if the vaccines don't actually work. Beyond that, there is not much of a downside. And even if one vaccine or another does not work well, it will almost certainly work to some degree.
Compare that with potentially loosing another 70,000-150,000 people and continued low economic activity. Shutdown or not, there will continue to be low economic activity until either this thing dies down in 5 years or whatever or we vaccinate a lot of people. I just think starting early on the vaccinations on people where it is not a disaster if it does not work on them, gets us ahead of the game. If some get a less effective version, then they can get a better one later.
Keep everything open except for these: bars, discos, restaurants, churches, and schools.
Not really, most of those 80 yr old is a grandparent or grant aunt/uncle beloved by 100s of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Almost every American family will suffer a loss.
The monster of generation of poorly educated and irrational loons that are easily control by a political party already exist.
That 0.13% isn't a constant. Most countries have a lower figure and some countries like the US and European countries have a much higher rate. The US figures is 214K dead And with a generous 33 million infected, it could be a lot lower, we have a death rate of 0.6%. Most of the deaths are concentrated on those 65yr and older. The death rate for them is about 6% which is not insignificant.
Just don't be stupid. Avoid having large crowds of people indoors in poorly ventilated places for long period of time maskless. And do suggest people take a daily Vitamin D supplement.
Totally agree that lockdowns must end unless in cases of hospital overload or R0 way over 2 — but your idea that co-morbidities implies severely reduced 'other' interventions or that this pandemic should be treated as a bad flu season – is akin to that legal/ ethical case study where a person is pushed out of a high-rise window, during such fall, someone else shoots them in a very likely fatal way. The shooter then becomes the murderer. Act as if every life matters, though balanced with the 'essential' needs of the many.
we could use the inheritance of all the people who died
Dr Octopus had the right idea.
Everyone who thought lockdowns made sense should now be required to pay for the 4 trillion dollars it cost the US govt to implement.
I think we just need to give everyone between 10 and 30 and healthy, versions of the vaccines. Use all of the vaccines that have passed phase 1. If all goes well, then do the same with the 31-40, and 5-9. Not forced obviously. But encouraged…"civic duty" and such.
These are mostly the people running around flaunting all the rules, and putting everyone at risk. If we reduce that vulnerability, I think we stand a good chance of shutting it down.
The Democrats have got everyone prepared to resist the use of any vaccine not fully tested. I think that is a mistake. I think given the risk of loss of life as things are, it makes sense to look for ways to get the vaccines into use where the risks are small. A lot of States really haven't been hit hard yet, and it is a "yet". In the US, only Hawaii and Alaska can realistically control the situation at this point. It is just a matter of time before the lucky States are no longer lucky.
That is where I would start the vaccinations. I would also vaccinate most of the college students in all the US, almost immediately. You can't expect college students to sit still for a year, to a year and a half.
I think it is not unrealistic to be able to get 70% of 10-30 year olds. I think that could really make a large difference. If you want "heard immunity", this is a good way to get it.
And if this works, we can soften the rules, and life can regain some semblance of normalcy. Continue the testing. General use, when ready.
Hmm, hand dispenser. I don't know, maybe I could use more hands. How do I attach these dispensed hands?
Exactley this pandemic was just not what the Chinese gov made it look like.
If you gotta be tested to find out if you have a pandemic it obviously is not a real pandemic. Go look at the yearly death rates and you can see that short the hysteria from the media the numbers say we are not far if not right in the historical data trend. Of course every death is a grave loss but regardless the fuzzy huge numbers die every year as part of the natural human cycle of life.
Questions that need asking is why after all the videos of people dieing in the streets and other such crazy scenes out of china resulted in the West going into a understandable economic sacrificial lock down they suddenly opened back up? Meanwhile once the west went into lockdown the one province in china that was locked down opened back up. Followed by no further spread before or after. Meanwhile we still have states in full lockdown many months longer than Chinas one province ?
Our politicks maynnot be albe to admit it but it is looking like we were all hustled from my seat.
First off 95% of the those who died of covid in Indonesia were vitamin D deficient. Although not perfect double blind etc THINK about it!
Second 85% of blacks are vitamin D deficient and whites about 25%. Blacks die from covid over 3 times more than whites!
Third CDC did a study where 28 in two groups all with covid went into the hospital Both groups received the same medicine except the second group received a large dose of vitamin D. Eight of the placebo groups went into intensive care and 4 did not come out. The vitamin D group had one progress to intensive care and all later went home.
Fourth Another study in England before coivd showed that people with low vitamin D were four time more likely to die of a viral lung infection than those who had acceptable levels of vitamin D.
There are other studies so do the research yourself.
So take two tablets of Vitamin D every day and live without worry.
admits that 10% of the world's population has contracted COVID19. With just over a million deaths that means an IFR of around 0.13% or essentially a bad flu season.
Now regarding COVID deaths, the CDC has come clean and admitted that only 6% of COVID19 deaths were due to COVID19 alone. The other 94% had on average 2.6 comorbidities.
Lockdowns must stop. This is madness!
Encouraging generations of poorly educated and irrational loons to enable easier political control can have negative consequences that aren't easy to control. Much like the famous golem narrative, it's usually easier to create a monster than to control it.
Lock downs are employed when those very alternatives fail and spread threatens to get out of control. More locally targeted lock downs should be employed earlier in the cycle. Not all people in all areas are equally competent and rational. Even with more granular lock downs, all people in the affected area will be penalized and not just the irrational and inept. If the vaccine doesn't turn the tide, those that cannot control themselves should be removed from society and stored somewhere they will do no further harm.
Yes, for most people around the globe, there is no food on the fridge if they don't go to work some place out of home. And children won't (and shouldn't) stay at home forever.
It's easy for middle/high class childless urbanites to forget that.
Lockdowns were originally justified solely on the theory that, by "flattening the curve", they would avoid overwhelming medical resources. The idea that they were ever going to be done on a widespread and continuing basis was mad.
And still is.
I really think what we're looking at prolonging lockdowns, is a kind of moral panic among our political class. If it's not just them reveling in the exercise of power.
You want to avoid lockdowns? Make wearing a good face-mask mandatory (give them freely if need be), avoid handshakes and keep washing your hands often.
I don't get it why people reject them as some kind of fascistic measure.
It's just common sense, people. The virus is airborne and passed through contact.
Let's avoid that and behave with better hygiene for a while.
Bing at least gives a straight shot at discovering the inside skinny about the “Great Barrington Declaration” for those wanting a meaty discussion. Those behind this ‘position paper’ are infectious disease epidemiologists—not departmental figureheads beholden to a “politics first” mindset.
They advocate a protective posture directed strictly toward those most susceptible to poor outcomes from viral infection, and allow everyone outside this box to fully resume activities. More detail:
I'm mostly identified as more left-leaning, but I draw the line when it comes to surveillance and infringing upon freedoms in a big way. Wearing masks and social distance has shown to help, and I practice that. But I don't agree that travel should ever be infringed upon, and someone's right to transplant themselves if they feel the need. I worry that is on the horizon.
Partially-Agree. It's primarily about maintaining a minimum level of emergency response to other emergencies (don't overload hospitals and response services). It's secondarily (but importantly) about absolutely severing of the Vulnerables (mostly by self-identify) from the rest of the working/ living populations. Extended and enriched services out-of-town – including repurposed hotels, motels, schools, community centres. Depopulate major urban hotspots. Thirdly (but importantly), create Pandemic bank accounts (equivalent to 3 months UI) for all, in their local bank, that can only be accessed under Govt order – which can be enriched (and Govt matched to a point) as a tax-deferred savings account to any who wish to have further savings (for pandemics or just emergencies). Fourthly, stop making car ownership, parking, and access so difficult in major cities by fostering minimum parking spaces in (under) new buildings (1 – 2/unit) and keep parking support at all major municipal and retail facilities. Cars are a significant source of refuge, income, and ability to get around as an individual. Other monitoring and self-protection and surveillance and tracing and self-/community-care — I can take it or leave it. Somewhat reasonable, but not worth getting $500 tickets over. Of Course: The Big Issue is: FIRST CALL. When do we know we're on the verge of an epidemic/ pandemic/ outbreak? This is the 'not talked about'/ elephant in the room. How do we monitor/ predict/ assess threat??
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