Lockdown's a killer writes Professor ANGUS DALGLEISH

Lockdown’s a killer… worse than Covid could ever be, writes Professor ANGUS DALGLEISH

There is a world of difference between this lockdown and the last. In March, the country could not fully gauge what we were facing. 

Covid-19 was an unknown, and fears of catastrophic death rates were real.

A drastic response by the Government seemed appropriate, at least temporarily.

But Saturday’s announcement by Boris Johnson that Britain was to be plunged once again into a national lockdown has left me deeply frustrated and depressed.

It is a terrible mistake, one that will cause untold misery and hardship.

But Saturday’s announcement by Boris Johnson that Britain was to be plunged once again into a national lockdown has left me deeply frustrated and depressed

It was fear of just such a step that led me to accept an invitation three weeks ago to sign the Great Barrington Declaration, a statement calling for the coronavirus to be combated by the promotion of herd immunity and protection of the most vulnerable rather than through the implementation of economically ruinous lockdowns.

And for this measure to be introduced just as the winter days are drawing in can only make the effect worse. Lockdown is a killer, worse than Covid-19 could ever be.

To renew the national lockdown is a terrible decision based on dreadful scientific errors and outlandish projections.

There are much better ways to protect the population. We understand far more about the virus now. 

Fatalities are much lower in real terms than many predicted – not just lower than the ridiculous scaremongering of those who warned of 500,000 dead, but lower than the figure of one death in 100 cases.

A more accurate estimate, as the respiratory pharmacology expert Dr Mike Yeadon argued so clearly in Saturday’s Daily Mail, is that this new coronavirus is fatal in about one in 500 cases. 

Dr Yeadon points out that Sage is using grossly flawed and false statistics. I fully agree. 

If the data they are inputting were accurate, I would not argue with their conclusions. But it is simply wrong.

For a start, Sage argues the whole population is at risk from Covid-19 when there is clear evidence that many people have an innate resistance to it. 

This may be due to a cross-reaction to previous colds, which can also be caused by coronaviruses, or to other infections that heighten the response of T-cells – a crucial element in our bodies’ immune system.

Natural immunity is also greatly assisted by good levels of Vitamin D – and diminishes in people with low levels of the vitamin.

Crucially, Dr Yeadon and others challenge the notion that only 7 per cent of the population has been infected. The real figure, he and I both believe, is far higher.

Sage’s estimate is wrong, because many people who have clearly been infected have no antibodies just a few months later. 

My personal experience is that many of my friends and colleagues have definitely had Covid and recovered. 

Far from all of them are now testing positive for antibodies. 

And for this measure to be introduced just as the winter days are drawing in can only make the effect worse. Lockdown is a killer, worse than Covid-19 could ever be (stock image used)

It is highly likely they have T-cell activity that gives ongoing protection, and this is not being picked up by the official figures.

All of this convinces me that a much higher percentage of the population is now resistant to Covid – and lockdown is unnecessary.

Much of the emphasis during Mr Johnson’s broadcast at the weekend was on the need to prevent hospital wards reaching full capacity next month. 

The Prime Minister must be oblivious to the conditions that have become the norm during the past 30 years.

In the NHS, where I have spent my working life, the ‘Winter Crisis’ is an annual event – which always sees overcrowded wards across the country by the end of November.

A surge in flu and pneumonia cases makes this inevitable. The question is whether Covid-19 will add to those cases, or whether it will infect the people who, in all probability, would have become ill anyway.

The national death rate leapt up in March, April and May. Then it slipped down, below normal summer levels. 

As we have seen consistently this year, the virus is particularly deadly for the obese and those with diabetes – exactly the same people with a high susceptibility to flu and pneumonia.

The real danger for most people will come not from the virus but from the irrational, panicked, dictatorial response of the Government. 

The mental health of the entire nation, as well as its economy, is imperilled.

Angus Dalgleish is an oncologist at a London teaching hospital

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