Source: ‘Preparedness for a High-Impact Respiratory Pathogen Pandemic’, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, September 2019
NPI: Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
(Extracts below are from this report which is 84-page long. I have gone through it).
(1) Box 8 (p.56) defines NPI: Travel Restrictions, Movement Restrictions, quarantine, Social Distancing
(2) While the economic impact of pandemics, epidemics, and outbreaks depends, in part, on the severity of the health effects of these events, the actions that countries take in an attempt to control the spread of disease can also exacerbate its tolls. (p.16)
(3) Respiratory pathogens can be particularly difficult to contain. Their tendency to have short incubation periods and their potential for asymptomatic spread can mean very small windows are available for interrupting transmission. (p.18)
(4) Central involvement of the security sector, the possibility that countries may be less likely to share information during a deliberate event, and the potential for major societal fissures are just some of the elements that would complicate or interfere with current international response frameworks in ways that would make them less effective in addressing the response to a major deliberate event (p.31)
(5) In order to be as useful as possible, modeling capabilities should be implemented in advance of an emergency and closely integrated with the public health decision-making team to facilitate rapid analyses and decision-making cycles. Decision makers also must be informed in advance about the expected limitations of modeling approaches and how uncertainties about existing data may affect model predictions. (p.42)
[My comment: Experts committed one of the worst crimes in not giving politicians the full picture and they made their predictions sound so deterministic.]
From the Executive Summary (p. 13):
(6) WHO and other public health authorities should have the capacity to provide risk/benefit analysis to national governments, driven by scientific evidence where it exists, before NPIs are initiated in a crisis. [Emphasis mine]
(7) In some cases, implementation of some NPIs, such as travel restrictions and quarantine, might be pursued for social or political purposes by political leaders, rather than pursued because of public health evidence. WHO should rapidly and clearly articulate its opposition to inappropriate NPIs, especially when they threaten public health response activities. (p.73)
(8) It is important to communicate to political leaders the absence of evidence surrounding many NPI interventions and the adverse consequences that may follow them. (p.58)
(9) Quarantine efforts could be highly disruptive to societies and economies if they are implemented for prolonged periods.121 (p.58)
(10) Quarantine measures will be least effective for pathogens that are highly transmissible, have short incubation periods, and spread through true airborne mechanisms, as opposed to droplets. As with travel restrictions, quarantine appears to delay the introduction of highly transmissible diseases but not prevent their spread entirely. (p.57)
(11) In the context of a high-impact respiratory pathogen, quarantine may be the least likely NPI to be effective in controlling the spread due to high transmissibility. (p.57)
(12) For example, studies have found that travel restrictions would be less effective once a disease has spread to multiple geographic areas or been introduced to large cities. (p.57)
(13) In determining whether and how to implement NPIs, countries must assess each proposed measure on the following dimensions:
1. Epidemiologic assessment: Do available data or experience suggest a specific NPI will work to prevent or slow transmission in a meaningful way?
2. Logistical assessment: Is the particular NPI measure feasible given available resources?
3. Social, economic, and political assessment: What are the possible unintended adverse societal consequences of a particular NPI? (p.56)
What has been done by many countries are the antithesis of this report prepared in less noisy, less contentious and less politically charged times.
Why were its suggestions ignored at all?
Why did experts not do what the reports exhort them to do? Advise politicians of uncertainties and the limitations of their model?
Why did WHO not warn countries of the limited efficacy or unknown efficacy and the substantial other costs of the ‘Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions’? – quarantine, social distancing, travel restrictions and movement restrictions?
What were the reasons?
If it was only about defeating President Trump, then, may be, now is the time to relax the obsession with lockdowns and masks?
Was the virus more lethal than they let on?
Did they know more about it than they told us? Or, were there other considerations?
Is this part of a ‘Great Reset’? [Link]
Or, was it simply an astounding and unbelievable case of the Hanlon’s razor and is still being persisted with, into the winter months?
It seems appropriate to conclude with this quote from Carl Sagan:
“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” [ht: Tim Price – see here]
by Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.