An extreme lockdown
Yes, why not? Everyone will wear double-layered cloth masks at all times indoors and outdoors, except when sleeping or eating; practiced social distancing of at least 6 feet; are not allowed to leave house; don't have access to personal electronics and other items that might contribute to surface transmission; and routinely wash the hands. Everyone clean their rooms daily, sanitized bathrooms after each use with bleach wipes, and eat preplated meals. And where everyone eats will be cleaned with bleach after each meal. And all of that will be supervised by cameras.
All movement of the people are supervised, and unidirectional flow is implemented, with designated house entry and exit points to minimize contact among persons. All people undergo daily temperature and symptom screening. Cameras with audio are used to enforce the quarantine measures. If people are reporting any signs or symptoms consistent with Covid-19, they reported to sick call, undergo rapid qPCR testing for SARS-CoV-2, and are placed in isolation pending the results of testing.
This is what I call a real lockdown, not?
To what extent a lockdown is capable of suppressing the virus?
If so, you can make an argument that at least lockdowns, despite their astronomical social and economic costs, achieve something. If not, nations of the world have embarked on a catastrophic experiment that has destroyed billions of lives, and all expectation of human rights and liberties, with no payoff at all.
The Great Experiment
For whatever reason, governments all over the world still are under the impression that they can affect viral transmissions through a range of “nonpharmaceutical interventions” (NPIs) like mandatory masks, forced human separation, stay-at-home orders, bans of gatherings, business and school closures, and extreme travel restrictions.
History books will be written full about this period of human history. In all the time of human existence on this planet, never was something tried on this scale. So ... maybe we might be a bit understanding towards the policy makers. And maybe there might be some basis or the confidence that these measures are working, maybe accomplish something?
Let's be wise and our beloved leaders and policy makers will implement some experiments to see if lockdowns will work, before apply them to the general public. And if such experiments work and have good results, they can apply them on the general population without a bad conscious, not?
It's a pity that the governments and policy makers didn't care about experiments and simply enforced the lockdowns without any basis of knowing that thy worked. Let's call it the Great Experiment".
Do lockdowns work?
While governments didn't ensure if lockdowns would work, others did. While we were under lockdowns, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in cooperation with the Naval Medical Research Center sought to test lockdowns along with testing and isolation.
In May, 3,143 new recruits to the Marines were given the option to participate in a study of frequent testing under extreme quarantine. The study was called CHARM, which stands for COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines. Read here some news media articles about it. Of the recruits asked, a total of 1,848 young people agreed to be guinea pigs in this experiment which involved “which included weekly qPCR testing and blood sampling for IgG antibody assessment.” In addition, the CHARM study volunteers who did test positively “on the day of enrollment (day 0) or on day 7 or day 14 were separated from their roommates and were placed in isolation.”
Here is the result of the study:
A total of 1848 recruits volunteered to participate in the study; within 2 days after arrival on campus, 16 (0.9%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 15 of whom were asymptomatic. An additional 35 participants (1.9%) tested positive on day 7 or on day 14. Five of the 51 participants (9.8%) who tested positive at any time had symptoms in the week before a positive qPCR test. Of the recruits who declined to participate in the study, 26 (1.7%) of the 1554 recruits with available qPCR results tested positive on day 14. No SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified through clinical qPCR testing performed as a result of daily symptom monitoring. Analysis of 36 SARS-CoV-2 genomes obtained from 32 participants revealed six transmission clusters among 18 participants. Epidemiologic analysis supported multiple local transmission events, including transmission between roommates and among recruits within the same platoon.
I only show here the conclusion of the study:
Among Marine Corps recruits, approximately 2% who had previously had negative results for SARS-CoV-2 at the beginning of supervised quarantine, and less than 2% of recruits with unknown previous status, tested positive by day 14. Most recruits who tested positive were asymptomatic, and no infections were detected through daily symptom monitoring. Transmission clusters occurred within platoons. (Funded by the Defense Health Agency and others.)
To translate and summarize the result of the experiment:
It didn't work.
Enforce a national lockdown, and after that?
The reality shows that a lockdown helps somewhat. The thing is that lockdowns do not make the coronavirus infections disappear. The result is logical wise an increase in the number of infections after the lockdown.
The most logical expectation of a lockdown is to eliminate the virus. I assume that everyone agrees with that. The problem with this statement is that a lockdown, as we have seen with the experiment, does not work like that with any virus. Theoretically, if the lockdown will last as long as there are still people infected, and ends when nobody is infected for a long time, the coronavirus will be destroyed amid ourselves. But the price to pay for that is unbearable high. It's like stop breathing until the virus is gone. The treatment is more damaging than the disease.
It's obvious what the policy makers and leaders are waiting for. They are waiting for the vaccine. They are dreaming that the vaccine will solve all their problems. But ... sorry to disappoint, but vaccines do not work like that.
In order to stop (new infections) the corona pandemic, you need to have a population, which is 60% immune. There are two ways to do that (and a combination of the two). One by natural immunization (by getting infected and recover) and by vaccines. That's the theory. But experience with the vaccines for influenza learns that this doesn't work.
And of course the question is when do we have a vaccine and when can everyone who wants (preferable 60% of the world population) to be vaccinated? That'll take a couple of years.