Some Thoughts About The Start Of The Lockdown

When the lockdown first started, it was at the peak of a moral panic about coronavirus that gripped the developed world. There were many causes for that moral panic, and I might collect my thoughts on those too some time. But once the moral panic started wearing off, many of those who changed their minds on the lockdown made the face-saving argument that it had been right to start with, but had somehow flipped to being wrong, coincidentally at the same time that they had shaken off the moral panic. At the very least, they say, “the science” had pointed them to support the lockdown at first, and now that the science had changed, they had changed their minds too.

But this is not true. The best available evidence always spoke against the lockdown. This is my effort to briefly record, as close to the time as possible [Original piece written in May 2020, when the counter-narrative is emerging], why even the original evidence had argued against lockdown, before the narrative of history is written to retrospectively justify the mind-changers. I am glad that these individuals are now supporting the truth rather than falsehood, but our future efforts will not be helped by sparing their blushes.

  1. Historical Precedents.
    This is the curious incident of the historical precedents for a lockdown of all citizens, rather than a quarantine of the sick: there are no historical precedents for it. This has never happened before, even in unimaginably worse pandemic events that killed up to two-thirds of the population, like the Plague of Cyprian or the Black Death. Up until the last few years it would have been impossible: in subsistence societies you cannot simply decide not to harvest the crop. The burden of proof had to be on the proponents of this radical, untested plan. That burden was not only never met, there was never any attempt to meet it: the lockdown was imposed as a knee-jerk, without deliberation or scrutiny. There was no reason to do it in the first place.
  2. CFR vs IFR.
    The initial death rates of 3-4% that zoomed around the world and became locked in the public mind were never going to be the true rate. This is not simply a case of “subsequent evidence changing the narrative”. The Case Fatality Rate [CFR] is the proportion of those who die of the disease after having severe enough symptoms to be treated and diagnosed. The Infection Fatality Rate [IFR] is the proportion of those who die of the disease after becoming infected, regardless of symptomatic status. In a viral respiratory disease where most of those infected show no or only mild symptoms, the IFR will always be a lot lower than the naïve CFR. It is difficult to assess the IFR early as it requires comprehensive population testing of asymptomatic individuals, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored. A good prior for diseases like this would be that 10% of the infected have serious enough symptoms to get diagnosed, leading to an IFR of the order of magnitude of 0.3-0.4%. Unfortunately it became clear that while public health authorities like the WHO of course knew of this difference, they were reluctant to address the misconception for fear of reducing public concern.
  3. The Diamond Princess.
    In fact we did already have a useful proxy for the IFR from the very beginning of the outbreak. A cruise ship off the coast of Japan became infected and everyone on board was at a minimum exposed to the virus due to close proximity and high circulation. The total mortality rate on the Diamond Princess ended up being 0.38% of the passengers and crew. Indeed this rate will be inflated by the extreme age profile of the majority of cruise ship passengers, who skew very old, a demographic far more vulnerable to infections, especially respiratory diseases. The median age of the passengers was 69! There is no indication of any children having been on board. So if anything, we would have expected Covid-19 to have a mortality effect several times greater on the Diamond Princess than in the general population. Again, the total mortality rate was 0.38%. It now looks as though the IFR is actually about 0.1%, but even at the time, we knew from the Diamond Princess (and soon after, from Iceland) that the IFR was very low, far lower than could justify a lockdown.
  4. The Age Gap.
    Speaking of the age gap, it became very clear very quickly, long before lockdown was imposed, that this pandemic was almost uniquely benevolent in human history. Whereas the great pandemics of yore slew young and old alike, or even prioritised the young, for the most part Covid-19 only kills the already sick and elderly. We need not piously pretend that “every death is a tragedy”. In 2020, most deaths are at a minimum merely part of the natural order of things, and even in many cases a relief from terminal suffering and senility. Pneumonia used to be called “the old man's friend”, and indeed Covid-19 seems to be a good death as these things go: it is not disgusting like yersinia pestis or haemorrhagic smallpox or ebola, those great pandemics of yore; it does not leave the patient lingering in agony for years like cancer, our modern bogeyman. Any disease that leaves the young and healthy alive is, brutally, a boon to the animal population that it infects. Among humans we will do what we can to treat those who get it, and even where nothing can be done we can ease the victims' passing as much as possible, but it is silly to pretend that we are not still subjects of nature living in a world ruled by natural forces.
  5. Deaths Delayed, Not Prevented 1.
    In the long run, we are all dead. But some of us are dead in the short run too. This is linked to the previous element, but differs due to the extremity of the results and the link to false justifications. We are daily exhorted to "Save Lives", and those of us who have been vocal in opposing lockdown from the beginning have got wearily used to receiving foul-mouthed abuse accusing us of being murderers. But the average age of a UK Covid-19 death is 80 [May 2020]. Even the elderly retirees of the Diamond Princess were spring chickens compared to the average Covid-19 victim! Many, even most of these individuals would have died hereafter; there would have been time for such a word. So almost no lives were ever going to be saved by the lockdown, any more than you can save someone's life by pushing them out of the path of a speeding car onto an impaling spike.
  6. Faulty Modelling.
    My local national government in the UK had originally planned a sensible herd immunity approach, a tried and tested method. This changed dramatically when modelling appeared from Neil Ferguson at Imperial College which suggested hundreds of thousands of deaths without a lockdown. Yes, that model has since been thoroughly discredited after being released. But even at the time there was no reason to pay any attention to it, based on that model's track record. Bird Flu: it predicted 200,000,000 global deaths; 282 actually died. Swine Flu: it predicted 65,000 UK deaths; 457 actually died. BSE: it predicted 50,000 UK deaths; 177 actually died. The model was also implicated in the Foot and Mouth fiasco, since recognised to be a grave mistake. The modelling has not been “surprisingly exposed” as faulty: it has been confirmed to be as faulty as an impartial observer would have expected it to be.
  7. Ecological Effects.
    Major quarantines, the closest thing we have in history to a lockdown like this, are widely thought to increase viral severity. The mechanism is that in ordinary outbreaks, individuals with mild strains go out and spread that mild strain, while individuals with severe strains stay home in bed, not spreading the severe strain, so herd immunity is reached gently through infection by mild strains, eliminating the severe strain through survival of the strains that are best fitted to their host environment and reducing the net severity. In a lockdown, individuals with mild strains are kept at home where they are unable to spread their mild strain, which is eliminated, while individuals with severe strains are rushed into hospitals where they can spread their severe strain. This remains hypothetical, though well-attested for e.g. Spanish Flu, but even as a hypothesis it added to the burden of proof that lockdown advocates never met.
  8. Compliance and Adherence.
    Two terms well-known to those of us who've spent time in health economics, compliance is broadly whether patients take the pills they're given, and adherence is broadly whether patients pick up their new pills when the old ones run out. Compliance and adherence are always lower when patients have few symptoms and the treatment has severe side effects. The lockdown was always going to have low compliance (staying at home day to day) and adherence (accepting new extensions of the lockdown) because most of us will never show symptoms of coronavirus and the side effects of being trapped at home without work are very severe. So the lockdown was never going to work long-term regardless. At most it could have been used for a short sharp shock when the healthcare system was most strained, as the original UK government plan intended.
  9. Impossibility of Eradication.
    The justification for lockdown swung between flattening the curve to avoid overloading the healthcare system, which has never been a likely prospect in advanced countries with good healthcare systems (see the mothballed, unused Nightingale hospitals), and the desire to "beat this disease" (© Boris Johnson), that is, the hope of eradicating it. Once the disease had become endemic, which it clearly already was long before the lockdown, it could not be eradicated. First, poor countries could not sustain a lockdown long enough to eradicate it without causing mass starvation. Second, poorly-governed countries lacked the authority to impose lockdown. So the virus was always going to remain in circulation globally. But third, even within developed countries there are many immune-compromised individuals who cannot purge the virus from their bodies, and who would remain disease reservoirs. So it was always true that we could never eradicate the virus.
  10. Deaths Delayed, Not Prevented 2.
    This leads us to a further instance of deaths delayed, not prevented. Even if a lockdown were made to work in a country that was uniquely developed and isolated, for example New Zealand, all that that would achieve would be to necessitate future lockdowns in perpetuity, as the virus would return and return and return. All of the costs of the lockdown would only have staved off the virus for a matter of months before those costs had to be reïmposed, again and again and again. This was true before the lockdown as it is today.
  11. Lockdown Deaths and Diseases.
    For there are significant lockdown costs. Foremost among these are the lockdown deaths: not only does lockdown not save lives, it actually costs them, and this time in populations who would have otherwise had many years ahead of them. In the developed world, cancer and similar diseases will increase greatly due to the terrible fall in diagnosis and treatment rates—even for cancer, which is ordinarily public enemy number one, receiving lots of attention and funding. The developed world will also see large increases in obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and diabetes as lockdown has increased food intake and reduced activity levels. These diseases alone are already huge killers, and even a small increase in prevalence will have large effects. Then there are also what we might call social diseases and deaths, such as suicide, alcoholism, wife-beating, etc. Is anyone's mental health untouched by this? Not that I have seen, even among those who are normally breezy and optimistic. These are deaths and diseases that would not have occurred without the lockdown, even in the presence of a coronavirus outbreak. And then in the developing world, vaccination and treatment programmes for terrible killers such as tuberculosis and polio have stopped. The human cost of these is devastating, and these costs were always visible and inevitable, long before lockdown was imposed.
  12. Economic And Social Costs.
    And this is before the even greater economic costs. It is naïve to pretend that one can set “lives vs the economy”. The economy IS lives, all of our lives. Those piously prating about this are ordinarily those who would be most adamant about the terrible suffering and death caused by poverty. And the lockdown will cause great poverty, in both the developed and developing worlds. This was always obvious, long before the lockdown was imposed, even if the economic costs are turning out to be greater even than our worst fears had suggested. We are consuming without producing, creating a debt that the future will have to repay. Mass unemployment and underemployment are impoverishing us all. Future generations are losing their education. Even where these effects do not cause deaths directly, they will cause vast suffering to billions. No country has ever improved the health of its population by making itself poorer. [John Lee]
  13. £/QALY (Value For Money).
    We can combine the benefits (few lives extended for only short periods) and the costs (terrible cost of lives from lockdown diseases and poverty, and unimaginable increases in suffering) to consider the value for money. Again going back to health economics, the term we often use there is “£/QALY”, that is, pounds per quality-adjusted life-year. A drug that gives someone an extra year of life at full health for a given cost is unambiguously better than a drug that gives half a year of life at full health or a year of life at half health for the same cost. This is just blindingly obvious. Also obvious is that we do not live in a world of unlimited resources. Because we do not have unlimited resources, we have to make trade-offs about how we expend those resources to maximise the benefit we get from them. In the UK we will not approve a medical intervention that has a cost of more than £30,000 per QALY gained, and this is a decent rule of thumb for a developed country.* Even before the lockdown, before we knew how extreme the economic costs would be, before we knew that the virus was even less fatal than the Diamond Princess suggested, it was still clear that the cost of recovering a QALY would be orders of magnitude greater than £30,000. In practice, it now appears that the costs are not merely high, but infinite: we actually lose QALYs from lockdown. But we always knew that the cost was too high to be worth paying.
  14. Civil Liberties
    It was always true that the lockdown was a gross assault on our civil liberties. We can disagree about exactly where to draw the line in being willing to compromise those liberties: ultimately, all decisions are trade-offs. But an infringement on our civil liberties with no precedent, that had few benefits and vast practical costs, was never justified. This was true before the lockdown.

So do not believe those who tell you that they were right to support the lockdown at the beginning. Be glad that they have come to their senses, and there is little to be gained by cruelly rubbing their earlier error in their faces, but do not fall into the trap of flattering their egos by endorsing that white lie. Even more has since been learned (not least about the role of care homes), but the lockdown was always wrong, and those of us who looked at it clearly always saw that it was wrong.

sum θoətiz abaʊt ðə staət ov ðə lok-daʊn

wen ðə lok-daʊn fuəst staətid, hii biiyid at ðə piik ov a morəl panik abaʊt kəroʊnəvairəs ðat gripid ðə develəpəð wuəld. ðeə biiyid menii kʊəziz foə ðat morəl panik, and mii mait kəlekt miis θoətiz on ðoʊz tʊʊ sum taim. but wons ðə morəl panik staətid weəriŋg of, meniiy ov ðoʊz hʊʊ ceinjid diis maindiz on ðə lok-daʊn meikid ðə feis-seiviŋg aəgyəmənt ðat hii biiyivid rait tə staət wið, but sumhaʊ flipivid tə biiyin roŋ, koʊwinsidentəliiy at ðə seim taim ðat dii sheikivid of ðə morəl panik. at ðə verii liist, dii sei, “ðə saiyəns” pointivid dii tə səpoət ðə lok-daʊn at umθ, and naʊ ðat ðə saiyəns ceinjivid, dii ceinjivid diis maindiz tʊʊ.

but ðis bii not trʊʊ. ðə best aveiləbəl evidəns oəlweiz spiikid ageinst ðə lok-daʊn. ðis bii miis efət tə briiflii rikʊəd, az kloʊs tə ðə taim az posibəl [ərijinəl piis raitəð in mei 2020, wen ðə kaʊntə-narətiv imuəjin], waiy iivən ðiiy ərijinəl evidəns aəgyʊʊwivid ageinst lok-daʊn, bifʊə ðə narətiv ov histərii bii raitəð tə retrəspektivlii justifai ðə maind-ceinjəriz. mii bii glad ðat ðiiz individyʊʊəliz naʊ supʊətin ðə trʊʊθ raəðə ðan folshʊd, but wiis fyʊʊcər efətiz biiyil not helpəð bai speəriŋ diis bluʃiz.

  1. historikəl presidəntiz.
    ðis bii ðə kyʊəriiyəs insidənt ov ðə historikəl presidəntiz foər a lok-daʊn ov oəl sitizəniz, raəðə ðan a kworəntiin ov ðə sik: ðeə bii noʊ historikəl presidəntiz foə hii. ðis nevə hapəniv bifʊər, iivən in unimajinəblii wuəs pandemik eventiz ðat kilid up tə tʊʊ-tiiθiz ov ðə popyəleiʃən, laik ðə pleig ov sipriiyən oə ðə blak deθ. up until ðə last fyʊʊ yiəriz hii wʊd biyyiv imposibəl: in subsistəns səsaiyətiiyiz yii kan not simplii disaid not tə haəvist ðə krop. ðə buədən ov prʊʊf havid tə biiy on ðə prəpoʊnəntiz ov ðis radikəl, untestəð plan. ðat buədən biiyid not-oʊnlii nevə miitəð, ðeə biiyid nevə eniiy atemt tə miit hii: ðə lok-daʊn biiyid impoʊzəð az a nii-juək, wiðaʊt dilibəreiʃən oə skrʊʊtinii. ðeə biiyid noʊ riizən tə dʊʊ hiiy in ðiiy umθ pleis.
  2. k.f.r. vs i.f.r.
    ðiiy iniʃəl deθ reitiz ov 3-4% ðat zʊʊmid araʊnd ðə wuəld and bikumid lokəð in ðə publik maind nevə goʊwinid tə bii ðə trʊʊ reit. ðis bii not simpliiy a keis ov “subsikwənt evidəns ceinjiŋ ðə narətiv”. ðə keis feitalitii reit [k.f.r.] bii ðə prəpʊəʃən ov ðoʊz hʊʊ daiy ov ðə diziiz aftə haviŋ siviər inuf simtəmiz tə bii triitəð and daiyəgnoʊzəð. ðiiy infekʃən feitalitii reit [i.f.r.] bii ðə prəpʊəʃən ov ðoʊz hʊʊ daiy ov ðə diziiz aftə bikumiŋg infektəð, rigaədləs ov simtəmatik steitəs. in a vairəl respirətərii diziiz weə moʊst ov ðoʊz infektəð ʃoʊ noʊ oər oʊnlii maild simtəmiz, ðiiy i.f.r. oəlweiz biiyil a lot loʊwə ðan ðə naiyiiv k.f.r. hii bii difikəlt tʊʊw ases ðiiy i.f.r. uəlii az hii rikwaiə komprihensiv popyəleiʃən testiŋg ov eisimtəmatik individyʊʊəliz, but ðat miin not hii ʃʊd biiy ignʊərəð. a gʊd praiyə foə diziiziz laik ðis wʊd bii ðat 10% ov ðiiy infektəð hav siəriiəs inuf simtəmiz tə get daiyəgnoʊzəð, liidiŋ tʊʊw an i.f.r. ov ðiiy ʊədə ov magnicʊʊd ov 0.3-0.4%. unfʊəcənətlii hii bikumid kliə ðat wail publik helθ oəθoritiiyiz laik ðə whʊᵊ ov koəs noʊwid ov ðis difrəns, dii biiyid riləktənt tʊʊw adres ðə miskənsepʃən foə fiər ov ridyʊʊsiŋ publik kənsuən.
  3. ðə daimənd prinses.
    in fakt wii oəlredii havid a yʊʊsfəl proksii foə ðiiy i.f.r. from ðə verii biginiŋg ov ðiiy aʊt-breik. a krʊʊz ʃip of ðə koʊst ov jəpan bikumid infektəð and evriiy-um on boəd biiyid at a miniməm ekspoʊzəð tə ðə vairəs dyʊʊ tə kloʊs proksimitii and hai suəkyəleiʃən. ðə toʊtəl moətalitii reit on ðə daimənd prinses endid up biiyiŋ 0.38% ov ðə pasənjəriz and krʊʊw. indiid ðis reit biiyil infleitəð bai ðiiy ekstriim eij proʊfail ov ðə məjoritiiy ov krʊʊz ʃip pasənjəriz, hʊʊ skyʊʊ veriiy oʊld, a deməgrafik faə mʊə vulnrəbəl tʊʊw infekʃəniz, ispeʃəlii respirətərii diziiziz. ðə miidiiyən eij ov ðə pasənjəriz biiyid so-dein na! ðeə bii noʊw indikeiʃən ov enii cildrən biiyiviŋ on boəd. soʊw if eniiθiŋ, wii wʊd ekspektiv koʊvid-19 tə hav a mʊətalitiiy ifekt sevrəl taimiz greitər on ðə daimənd prinses ðan in ðə jenrəl popyəleiʃən. agen, ðə toʊtəl mʊətalitii reit biiyid 0.38%. hii naʊ lʊk az ðoʊ ðiiy i.f.r. biiy akcʊʊwəly abaʊt 0.1%, but iivən at ðə taim, wii noʊwid from ðə daimənd prinses (and sʊʊn aftə, from aislənd) ðat ðiiy i.f.r. biiyid verii loʊ, faə loʊwə ðan kʊd justifaiy a lok-daʊn.
  4. ðiiy eij gap.
    spikiŋg ov ðiiy eij gap, hii bikumid verii kliə veri kwiklii, loŋ bifʊə lok-daʊn biiyid impoʊzəð, ðat ðis pandemik biiyid oəlmoʊst yʊʊniiklii binevələnt in hyʊʊmən histərii. weəraz ðə greit pandemikiz ov yʊə sleiyid yuŋg and oʊld alaik, oər iivən praiyoritaizid ðə yuŋ, foə ðə moʊst paət koʊvid-19 oʊnlii kil ðiiy oəlredii sik and eldəlii. wii need not paiyəslii pritind ðat “evrii deθ biiy a trajədiiy”. in 2020, moʊst deθiz biiy at a miniməm miəlii paət ov ðə nacərəl ʊədər ov θiŋgiz, and iivən in menii keisiz a riliif from tuəminəl sufəriŋg and senilitii. nyʊʊmoʊnyə yʊʊsid tə bii koələð “ðiiy oʊld maniis frend”, and indiid koʊvid-19 siim tə biiy a gʊd deθ az ðiiz θiŋgiz goʊ: hii bii not dizgustiŋ laik yuəsiniiə pestis or hemoərajik smoəlpoks or iiboʊlə, ðoʊz greit pandemikiz ov yʊə; hii liiv not ðə peiʃənt liŋgəriŋg in agənii foə yiəriz laik kansə, wiis modən boʊgiiman. enii diziiz ðat liiv ðə yung and helθiiy alaiv bii, brʊʊtəlii, a bʊʊn tə ðiiy animəl popyəleiʃən ðat hii infekt. amung hyʊʊməniz wii dʊʊwil wot wii kan tə triit ðoʊz hʊʊ get hiiy, and iivən weə nuθiŋ kan bii dʊʊwəð wii kan iiz ðə viktimiis pasiŋg az muc az posibəl, but hii bii silly tə pritend ðat wii bii not stil subjektiz ov neicə liviŋg in a wuəld rʊʊləð bai nacərəl fʊəsiz.
  5. deθiz dileiyəð, not priventəð 1.
    in ðə loŋ run, wii biiy oəl ded. but sum ov wii bii ded in ðə ʃʊət run tʊʊ. ðis bii linkəð tə ðə priiviiyəs eləmənt, but difə dyʊʊ tə ðiiy ekstremitiiy ov ðə rizultiz and ðə link tə fols justifikeiʃəniz. wii bii deiliiy egzʊərtəð tə "seiv laifiz", and ðoʊz ov wii hʊʊ biiyiv voʊkəl in opoʊziŋ lok-daən from ðə biginiŋ getiv wiərilii yʊʊsəð tə risiiviŋ faʊl-maʊðəð abyʊʊs akyʊʊziŋ wiiy ov biiyiŋ muədərəriz. but ðiiy avərij eij ov a y.k. koʊvid-19 deθ bii 80 [mei 2020]. iivən ðiiy eldəlii ritairiiyiz ov ðə daimənd prinses biiyid spriŋ cikiniz kəmpeərəð tə ðiiy avərij koʊvid-19 viktim! menii, iivən moʊst ov ðiiz individyʊʊwəliz wʊd daiyiv hiər-aftə; ðeə wʊd biiyiv taim foə suc a wuəd. soʊw oəlmoʊst noʊ laifiz evə goʊwinid tə bii seivəð bai ðə lok-daʊn, enii mʊə ðan yii kan seiv sumumiis laif bai puʃiŋ hiiy aʊt ov ðə paθ ov a spiidiŋ kaər ontʊʊw an impeiliŋ spaik.
  6. foltii modəliŋ.
    miis loʊkəl naʃənəl guvənmənt in ðə y.k. ərijinəlii planivid a sensibəl huəd imyʊʊnitiiy aproʊc, a traiyəð and testəð meθəd. ðis ceinjid dramatiklii wen modəliŋg apiərid from niil fuəgəsən at impiəriiəl kolij wic sujestid ceəniz ov θaʊniz ov deθiz wiðaʊt a lok-daʊn. yes, ðat modəl sins biiyiv θurəlii diskreditəð aftə biiyiŋ riliisəð. but iivən at ðə taim ðeə biiyid noʊ riizən tə peiy eniiy atenʃən tʊʊ hii, beisəð on ðat modəliis trak rekoəd. buəd flʊʊ: hii pridiktid 200,000,000 gloʊbəl deθiz; 282 akcəlii daiyid. swain flʊʊ: hii pridiktid 65,000 y.k. deθiz; 457 akcəlii daiyid. b.s.e.: hii pridiktid 50,000 y.k. deθiz; 177 akcəlii daiyid. ðə modəl biiyid oəlsoʊw implikeitəð in ðə fʊt-and-maʊθ fiiyaskoʊ, sins rekəgnaisəð tə biiy a greiv misteik. ðə modəliŋ biiyiv not “səpraiziŋglii ekspoʊzəð” az foltii: hii biiyiv kənfuəməð tə biiy az foltiiy az an impaəʃəl obzuəvə wʊd ekspektiv hii tə bii.
  7. iikəlojikəl efektiz.
    meijə kworəntiiniz, ðə kloʊsist θiŋg wii hav in histərii tʊʊw a lok-daʊn laik ðis, bii waidlii θinkəð tʊʊw inkriis vairəl severitii. ðə mekənizəm bii ðat in ʊədineriiy aʊt-breikiz, indivijʊʊwəliz wið maild streiniz goʊw aʊt and spred ðat maild strein, wail indivijʊʊwəliz wið siviə streiniz stei hoʊm in bed, not sprediŋ ðə siviə strein, soʊ huəd imyʊʊnitii bii riicəð jentlii θrʊʊw infekʃən bai maild streiniz, ilimineitiŋ ðə siviə strein θrʊʊ səvaivəl ov ðə streiniz ðat bii best-fitəð tə diis hoʊst envairəmənt and rijʊʊsiŋ ðə net severitiiy. in a lok-daʊn, indivijʊʊwəliz wið maild streiniz bii kiipəð at hoʊm weə dii biiy uneibəl tə spred diis maild strein, wic biiy ilimineitəð, wail indivijʊʊwəliz wið siviə streiniz bii ruʃəð intə hospitəliz weə dii kan spred diis siviə strein. ðis rimein haipəθetikəl, ðoʊ wel-atestəð foər e.g. spaniʃ flʊʊ, but iivən az a haipoθisis hiiy adid tə ðə buədən ov prʊʊf ðat lok-daʊn advəkətiz nevə miitid.
  8. kəmplaiyəns and adhiərəns.
    tʊʊ tuəmiz wel-noʊwəð tə ðoʊz ov wii hʊʊ spendiv taim in helθ iikənomiks, kəmplaiyəns bii broədlii weðə peiʃəntiz teik ðə piliz dii bii givəð, and adhiərəns bii broədlii weðə peiʃəntiz pik up diis nyʊʊ piliz wen ðiiy oʊld umiz run aʊt. kəmplaiyəns and adhiərəns biiy oəlweiz loʊwə wen peiʃəntiz hav fyʊʊ simtəmiz and ðə triitmənt hav siviə said efektiz. ðə lok-daʊn oəlweiz goʊwin tə hav loʊ kəmplaiyəns (steiyiŋg at hoʊm dei tə deiy) and adhiərəns (akseptiŋ nyʊʊ ekstenʃəniz ov ðə lok-daʊn) bikuz moʊst ov wii nevə ʃoʊwil simtəmiz ov kəroʊnəvairəs and ðə said efektiz ov biiyiŋ trapəð at hoʊm wiðaʊt wuək bii verii siviə. soʊ ðə lok-daʊn nevə goʊwinid tə wuək loŋ-tuəm rigaədləs. at moʊst hii kʊd biiyiv yʊʊzəð foər a ʃʊət ʃaəp ʃok wen ðə helθ-keə sistəm biiyid moʊst streinəð, az ðiiy ərijinəl y.k. govənmənt plan intendid.
  9. imposibilitiiy ov eradikeiʃən.
    ðə justifikeiʃən foə lok-daʊn swiŋgid bitwiin flatəniŋ ðə kuəv tʊʊw avoid oʊvə-loʊdiŋ ðə helθ-keə sistəm, wic nevə biiyiv a laiklii prospekt in advansəð kuntriiyiz wið gʊd helθ-keə sistəmiz (kom sii ðə moθ-boələð, un-yʊʊzəð naitiŋgeil hospitəliz), and ðə dizaiə tə "biit ðis diziiz" (© boris jonsən), ðat bii, ðə hoʊp ov eradikeitiŋ hii. umais ðə diziiz bikumiv endemik, wic hii kliəlii oəlredii biiyid loŋ bifʊə ðə lok-daʊn, hii kʊd not biiy iradikeitəð. umθ, pʊə kuntriiyiz kʊd not sustein a lok-daʊn loŋg inuf tʊʊw iradikeit hii wiðaʊt kʊəziŋ mas staəveiʃən. tʊʊθ, pʊəlii-guvənəð kuntriiyiz lakid ðiiy oəθoritii tʊʊw impoʊz lok-daʊn. soʊ ðə vairəs oəlweiz goʊwinid tə rimein in suəkyəleiʃən gloʊbəlii. but tiiθ, iivən wiðin diveləpəð kuntriiyiz ðeə bii meniiy imyʊʊn-komprəmaizəð indivijʊʊwəliz hʊʊ kan not puəj ðə vairəs from diis bodiiyiz, and hʊʊ wʊd rimein diziiz rezəvwaəriz. soʊ hii biiyid oəlweiz trʊʊ ðat wii kʊd nevər iradikeit ðə vairəs.
  10. deθiz dileiyəð, not priventəð 2.
    ðis liid wii tʊʊw a fuəðər instəns ov deθiz dileiyəð, not priventəð. iivən if a lok-daʊn biiyid meikəð tə wuək in a kuntrii ðat biiyid yʊʊniklii diveləpəð and aisəleitəð, foər egzampəl nyʊʊ ziilənd, oəl ðat ðat wʊd aciiv wʊd bii tə nesesiteit fyʊʊcə lok-daʊniz in puəpecʊʊətiii, az ðə vairəs wʊd rituən and rituən and rituən. oəl ov ðə kostiz ov ðə lok-daʊn wʊd oʊnlii steiviv of ðə vairəs foər a matər ov munθiz bifʊə ðoʊz kostiz hafid tə bii riiyimpoʊzəð, agen and agen and agen. ðis biiyid trʊʊ bifʊə ðə lok-daʊn az hii bii tədei.
  11. lok-daʊn deθiz and diziiziz.
    foə ðeə bii signifikənt lok-daʊn kostiz. fʊə-moʊst amung ðiiz bii ðə lok-daʊn deθiz: not oʊnlii dʊʊ lok-daʊn seiv not laifiz, hii akcəlii kost diiy, and ðis taim in popyəleiʃəniz hʊʊ wʊd uðə-waiz havid menii yiəriz ahed ov dii. in ðə diveləpəð wuəld, kansər and similə diziiziz inkriisil greitlii dyʊʊ tə ðə teribəl foəl in daiyəgnoʊsis and triitmənt reitiz—iivən foə kansə, wic bii ʊədinerilii publik enəmii numbər um, risiiviŋg lotiz ov atenʃən and fundiŋ. ðə diveləpəð wuəld oəlsoʊ siiyil laəj inkriisiz in oʊbiisitii-rileitəð kəndiʃəniz suc az haət diziiz and daiyəbiitiiz az lok-daʊn inkriisiv fʊʊd in-teik and ridyʊʊsiv aktivitii levəliz. ðiiz diziiziz aloʊn biiy oəlredii hyʊʊj kiləriz, and iivən a smoəl inkriis in prevələns havil larj ifektiz. ðen ðeə biiy oəlsoʊ wot wii mait koəl soʊʃəl diziiziz and deθiz, suc az sʊʊwisaid, alkoholizəm, waif-biitiŋg, ets. kwes bii eniiy-umiis mentəl helθ untucəð bai ðis? not ðat mii siiyiv, iivən amuŋ ðoʊz hʊʊ bii noəməlii briiziiy and optimistik. ðiiz bii deθiz and diziiziz ðat wʊd not əkuəriv wiðaʊt ðə lok-daʊn, iivən in ðə prezəns ov a kəroənəvairəs aʊt-breik. and ðen in ðə diveləpiŋg wuəld, vaksineiʃən and triitmənt proʊgramiz foə teribəl kiləriz suc az tyʊʊbuəkyəloʊsis and poʊliiyoʊ stopiv. ðə hyʊʊmən kost ov ðiiz devəsteitin, and ðiiz kostiz biiyid oəlweiz vizibəl and inevitəbəl, loŋ bifʊə lok-daʊn biiyid impoʊzəð.
  12. iikənomik and soʊʃəl kostiz.
    and ðis bii bifʊə ðiiy iivən greitər iikənomik kostiz. hii bii naiyiiv tə pritend ðat um kan set “laifiz vs ðiiy ikonəmii”. ðiiy ikonəmii bii laifiz, oəl ov wiis laifiz. ðoʊz paiyəslii preitiŋg abaʊt ðis biiy ʊədinerilii ðoʊz hʊʊ wʊd bii moʊst adamənt abaʊt ðə teribəl sufəriŋg and deθ kʊəzəð bai povətiiy. and ðə lok-daʊn kʊəzil greit povətiiy, in boʊθ ðə diveləpəð and diveləpiŋg wuəldiz. ðis biiyid oəlweiz obviiyəs, loŋ bifʊə ðə lok-daʊn biiyid impoʊzəð, iivən if ðiiy iikənomik kostiz tuənin aʊt tə bii greitər iivən ðan wiis wuəst fiəriz sujestivid. wii kənʃʊʊmin wiðaʊt prəjʊʊsin, kriiyeitiŋg a det ðat ðə fyʊʊcə havil tə riipei. mas unimploimənt and undər-imploimənt impovəriʃin wiiy oəl. fyʊʊcə jenəreiʃəniz lʊʊzin diis ejəkeiʃən. iivən weə ðiiz ifektiz kʊəz not deθiz dairektlii, dii kʊəzil vast sufəriŋ tə θaʊniz ov mailiz. noʊ kuntriiy evər imprʊʊviv ðə helθ ov hiis popyəleiʃən bai meikiŋg hiiself pʊərə. [jon lii]
  13. £/k.a.l.y. (valyʊʊ foə munii).
    wii kan kəmbain ðə benifitiz (fyʊʊ laifiz ekstendəð foər oʊnlii ʃʊət piəriiyədiz) and ðə kostiz (teribəl kost ov laifiz from lok-daʊn diziiziz and povətiiy, and unimajinəbəl inkriisiz in sufəriŋ) tə kənsidə ðə valyʊʊ foə muniiy. agen goʊwiŋ bak tə helθ iikənomiks, ðə tuəm wiiy oftən yʊʊz ðeə bii “£/k.a.l.y.”, ðat bii, paʊndiz puə kwolitiiy-ajustəð laif-yiə. a drug ðat giv sumum an ekstrə yiər ov laif at ful helθ foər a givəð kost biiy unambigyʊʊwəslii betə ðan a drug ðat giv haəf a yiər ov laif at ful helθ oər a yiər ov laif at haəf helθ foə ðə seim kost. ðis bii just blaindiŋgly obviiyəs. oəlsoʊw obviiyəs bii ðat wii liv not in a wuəld ov unlimitəð rizʊəsiz. bicuz wii hav not unlimitəð rizʊəsiz, wii haf tə meik treid-ofiz abaʊt haʊ wiiy ekspend ðoʊʒ rizʊəsiz tə maksimaiz ðə benifit wii get from dii. in ðə y.k. wii aprʊʊvil not a medikəl intəvenʃən ðat hav a kost ov mʊə ðan £30,000 puə k.a.l.y. geinəð, and ðis biiy a diisənt rʊʊl ov θum foər a diveləpəð kuntrii.* iivən bifʊə ðə lok-daʊn, bifʊə wii noʊwid haʊw ekstriim ðiiy iikənomik kostiz wʊd bii, bifʊə wii noʊwid ðat ðə vairəs biiyid iivən les feitəl ðan ðə daimənd prinses sujestid, hii bii stil kliə ðat ðə kost ov rikuvəriŋg a k.a.l.y. wʊd biiy ʊədəriz ov magnicʊʊd greitə ðan £30,000. in praktis, hii naʊw apiə ðat ðə kostiz bii not miəlii hai, but infinət: wiiy akcəlii lʊʊz k.a.l.y.iz from lok-daʊn. but wiiy oəlweiz noʊwid ðat ðə kost biiyid tʊʊ hai tə bii wuəθ peiyiŋ.
  14. sivil libətiiyiz
    hii biiy oəlweiz trʊʊ ðat ðə lok-daʊn biiyid a groʊs asolt on wiis sivil libətiiyiz. wii kan disagriiy abaʊt egzaktlii weə tə droə ðə lain in biiyiŋg wiliŋ tə komprəmaiz ðoʊz libətiiyiz: ultimətliiy, oəl disiʒəniz bii treid-ofiz. but an infrinjmənt on wiis sivil libətiiyiz wið noʊ presidənt, ðat havid fyʊʊ benifitiz and vast praktikəl kostiz, biiyid nevə justifaiyəð. ðis biiyid trʊʊ bifʊə ðə lok-daʊn.

soʊ biliiv not ðoʊz hʊʊ tel yii ðat dii biiyid rait tə supʊət ðə lok-daʊn at ðə biginiŋ. bii glad ðat dii cumiv tə diis sensiz, and ðeə bii litəl tə bii gein bai krʊʊəlii rubin diis uəliiər erər in diis feisiz, but foəl not intə ðə trap ov flatərin diis iigoʊwiz baiy endʊəsin ðat wait laiy. iivən mʊə bii sins luəniv (not liist abaʊt ðə roʊl ov keə hoʊmiz), but ðə lok-daʊn biiyid oəlweiz roŋg, and ðoʊz ov us hʊʊ lʊkid at hii kliəly oəlweiz siiyid ðat hii biiyid roŋ.