“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge” ~ Thomas Berger.
by Abir Ballan, MPH
Asking questions is at the heart of science. Science is not an institution and not an authority. Science is never settled. It is forever evolving through conjecture and criticism. Questions form the basis of all scientific inquiry and scientific progress. Without challenging existing concepts – usually held by a majority – there is no new knowledge creation. Censoring dissenting voices eliminates the mechanism of error correction and pushes humanity back into the dark ages.
From the beginning lockdowns were a questionable public health tool, even described as ‘pro-contagion’ by Professor Ioannidis of Stanford University. As early as June 2020, papers showed that lockdowns and other NPIs had no effect on reducing deaths. We were all aware that lockdowns would have a terrible economic impact and a devastating human toll, especially in the developing world. We went along with this ‘cure’ because we were told it would save lives – it was necessary for 2 to 3 weeks to flatten the curve of infections and prevent healthcare system strain. Yet the goalposts kept shifting endlessly, moving towards a ZERO COVID world: a completely unrealistic and unachievable goal. Such an anti-science goal brings with it huge collateral damage: job losses, economic devastation, suicides, mental health crises and hurt to children and young people.
Is NOW the time to question absolutely everything?
COVID or Ebola?
The pandemic response was disproportionate. If infected, the average mortality with COVID is similar to the flu at 0.15%, globally. Why did the WHO, in March 2020, highlight the figure of 3.4% representing deaths among cases? Those cases included only high-risk individuals in hospitals with a far higher likelihood of mortality than the rest of the population. This figure did not take into account all infections that lead to mild disease or even no symptoms at all. It did not include individuals who are protected by past immunity. It certainly did not reflect that the elderly are several thousand times more likely to die with COVID than the young. Even Fauci predicted, in March 2020, “The consequences of COVID-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza”. Why then are we treating COVID as if it were Ebola?