Lockdowns Increase Transmission

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that in a group of Marine recruits who were placed under an exceptionally strong 2-week quarantine and a subsequent 2-week strict enforcement of masks, social distancing, etc, COVID transmission still occurred.

Moreover, transmission was actually greater in the supervised quarantine group than in the control group. This is fully in keeping with all preceding data showing that lockdowns increase the transmission of COVID.

32 thoughts on “Lockdowns Increase Transmission”

      1. I read somewhere that astronauts going to space even for short duration get some kind of strange brain damage or brain shrinkage or something. Might look for it later 🙂

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  1. The word ‘quarantine’ means isolation. In the study cited, marines lived in rooms shared with another person, ate in shared dining facilities, and shared bathroom facilities. So the people writing the study expect us to accept that people are isolated by putting them all together.

    Anyway. At a glance the way the study worked was to have participants quarantine at home for 2 weeks, and then quarantine at a college campus (yet sharing rooms, bathrooms, dining facilities) for another 2 weeks.

    By day 2 of arriving on campus (ie 2 days after finishing 14 days of self quarantine at home), about 1% of study participants tested positive, which means that they were probably infected during their 14 day self isolation at home (or prior to that since it was recently shown that 12 week long incubation periods is possible).

    Then, by day 7 or day 14 of so-called “quarantine” on campus (ie 7 days or 14 days after finishing 14 days of self quarantine at home) that number approximately doubled.

    Well. There is no way to know if study participants had been infected prior to beginning 2 weeks home isolation (because they were not supervised, plus there was no control group), which means that we don’t know where the original 1% prevalence by day 2 came from. Which means that the ‘study’ isn’t very good.

    Anyway, we can’t be certain that the doubling of cases while on campus was due to infection at that place from the original 1% either, since those additional cases might have been contracted prior to arriving either at campus while in self isolation or even before that where participants took longer to break out in disease etc but just to be nice, we will accept that the talk of six “clusters” is accurate and all of the additional cases arose from the first ones.

    Well, even if that is the case it doesn’t mean that lockdowns doesn’t work. It just means that jamming a couple thousand marines into dormitory type conditions where they share rooms, bathrooms, and dining facilities is a bad way to structure a quarantine, and that instructing people to wear masks and stay 6 feet away isn’t enough to overcome that.

    Btw I only skimmed the study.

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    1. Most people do live with somebody. This is why most transmission occurred in LTRs and homes.

      Somebody I know was at work around masses of people every day for months. Then she took a vacation and stayed home with her family. Now they all have COVID. No symptoms so whatever but she’s laughing and saying that she should have just stayed at work.

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      1. Look at the BLM rallies that went on for months. Or the Women’s March and all that craziness. Thousands of people, mulling around together in close proximity. Zero social distancing. But there weren’t any outbreaks coming from all that. Because that’s not how the virus spreads. You get it where you live. It spreads through prolonged exposure in a small, enclosed space.

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      2. I’m not sure that I understand your point, because it sounds like you’ve said that a woman who didn’t have the virus worked around large masses of people, where she got the virus, followed by her taking it home with her and infecting the whole family. None of that would have happened if she had just quarantined at home.

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          1. The following link is about a woman who was infected, infectious, and without symptoms for 70 days. Therefore, based on the information that you have stated, it is easily possible that the person you know was infected at work, was without symptoms, took the virus home, infected her family, and learned of it only when tested along with her family members.

            It is also possible that she was infected by her family, but the way I see it, that’s your case to make 🙂

            https://www.businessinsider.com.au/patient-with-coronavirus-shed-virus-for-70-days-2020-11?r=US&IR=T

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            1. It’s also within the realm of possibility that she’s eating crowds of bats every day and getting infected from that. But outliers don’t make the rule.

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              1. “within the realm of possibility that she’s eating crowds of bats every day ”

                She has leukemia and a depressed immune system…. not applicable to the overwhelming majority of people.

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              2. @ cliff arroyo: The lady with leukemia with a depressed immune system is proof that the condition of the blood probably determines incubation period, and that long incubation periods are possible. There are many kinds of blood system disorders, and many reasons to have a depressed immune system. Therefore, the presently accepted incubation period of around 2 weeks is probably just the most common range.

                @ Clarissa: The idea that I put forward, of the woman being infected and then infecting her family, is a very common event that can hardly considered to be an outlier.

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            2. The woman who shed live virus for 70 was also severely immunocompromised. She had chronic lymphocytic leukemia, had undergone chemotherapy, and pretty much had no immune system with which to kill the virus. So this is not a good example to support your point.

              (This is reader Pen with a slightly different email, by the way, Clarissa)

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              1. @ Pen: Respectfully, it is an excellent example with which to support my point. It was found months ago that the SARSCOV2 virus attacks and destroys T lymphocytes, which in turn degrades the immune system.

                I don’t expect everyone to incubate for 70 days asymptomatically, but do expect that there will be people who naturally have fewer white cells or whose white cell counts are reduced early to take longer to incubate.

                If the woman in Clarissa’s example is such a person, it would make her infecting her family that much more plausible.

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  2. So if I lived at home with my parents and we all had minimal contact with others outside of the house (e.g., quick shopping trips for groceries while wearing masks and social distancing), we would be more likely to contract the virus?

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    1. Not only is it true, it’s been known since May. This virus thrives in small, enclosed spaces through prolonged exposure. It’s killed by fresh air, sunlight and movement. This is why throughout the lockdown, I spent almost all day away from the house. This is one of the reasons why numbers are so bad in Spain where people live in small, cramped apartments and not large houses. Whatever we feel about the danger of COVID, it’s crucial to open the windows, let air circulate all day, go outside in the sun for at least an hour a day, and engage in physical activity outside. Also, you can’t go wrong with a vitamin D supplement and a zinc supplement. I’ve read every immunologist and epidemiologist I could find for months and they all give these recommendations.

      Also, now it’s a great time to lose weight of at all possible.

      I think these are reasonable recommendations that are very possible to implement and that won’t have negative consequences.

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      1. Also, I want to add that those BLM protesters were doing the smart thing by going outside. I don’t support their cause but healthwise it made a lot more sense than stewing at home.

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        1. That’s a brilliant idea. I’m sitting in my office all day with the veranda door wide open at 37F. I told the building services who tried to make me lock the door for safety reasons (because I might fall off the balcony that’s 15 feet wide and has a tall railing) that there’s absolutely no chance I’d sit there without fresh air.

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      2. If the virus is spread by close contact with people who are infected, usually for at least 15 minutes, then in my scenario above (living in lockdown with my parents), how is the virus going to get into my home for me to catch it? Also, even when I’m working full time outside of the house, I’m usually inside for at least 12 hours a day, I think (including when I sleep). Where I live, it’s too hot and humid in the summer to not use the air conditioning and simply open the windows. So should I be sleeping outside? (By the way, I’m not arguing here in support of a lockdown, because this would really hurt the economically disadvantaged, the working class, and small business owners the worst while barely affecting the elite and many–if not most–of those in the middle class.)

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        1. So person X goes to the store and gets infected, right? The viral load is small enough because it was a brief, insignificant contact and he only caught a few microparticles. Nothing big enough to give him any symptoms or get him sick. Then X goes home where 4 people, including two elderly are living with him. They all start giving the virus to each other. It’s a closed environment, they are constantly in contact, the viral load finally reaches a level where one of them will start having symptoms. Probably, it will be the elderly person. But you keep them together enough, especially with poor ventilation, and they’ll all come down with symptoms. It’s all in the viral load. Then there are factors like individual health. The underlying conditions, the immune response, etc. But the general rule is that being cooped up in a small space is the most dangerous.

          Can you go for long walks morning and evening? I’m not suggesting seeking out crowds but alone is always good. Many people have taken to exercising on the balcony. I do it at night to avoid traumatizing neighbors. 🙂

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          1. Well, yes, in any household if one person gets the virus, the others will most likely get it, too, regardless of whether or not there is a lockdown.

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            1. “Getting it” means different things, though. Do you really care if you “got it” but neither you nor anybody else got sick from it or transmitted to anybody? Probably not. Most people will probably get it in the sense of getting infected. And that’s great because that’s how they will build immunity. Ideally, though, we get it in a way that doesn’t give the virus a chance to build up to the point where we’ll start getting sick.

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      3. ” it’s crucial to open the windows”

        Do people in Ukraine have a phobia about drafts? (present in Poland, Germany and Romania that I know about). I mean, it can be 32 (C) degrees outside and if you open a window then someone shrieks “Przeciąg!” and runs to close it…

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        1. In South Africa people will complain about it being stuffy and always want to open a window.

          In the 19th century a lot of people with respiratory illnesses like TB were sent from England to South Africa because it was believed that fresh air and sunshine would be good for their health.

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          1. An old auntie in the family spent years living in a TB sanatorium in North Carolina. The residents’ rooms were screened porches, looking out over the mountains. They lived there both summer and winter– in the winter, the staff came by regularly with “pigs”– four-footed cast iron boxes with hot coals inside, to keep one’s feet warm. The system seemed to work. transmission rate to the staff was very low, and the patients’ health did improve. These places disappeared with the advent of antibiotic treatments.

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  3. I read this post and all the comments and I just want to say, my son is a Marine recruit who recently went through quarantine before starting bootcamp. It was horrible. They were locked in a hotel room (he and 3 other men) where they were not allowed to exercise or leave or call home for 14 days. He was miserable. They all were. Also, they have been testing the vaccine on Marine recruits. They test a lot of things on our armed forces. He signed up to defend the country and learn a trade–not be a guinea pig.

    I don’t think lockdowns stop the virus. Masks don’t stop the virus. Vaccines don’t stop the virus. It’s a virus. It can go anywhere it pleases (thank you very much!) and people hyperventilating about catching it are in more danger of passing out than dying from it. But that is my very humble opinion. I have a friend enduring multiple surgeries for the bacteria necrotizing fasciitis and there is no way to stop that either. We don’t even know how people get it or how to stop it other than cutting off piece of the body that become infected. And that scares me much more than Covid.

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    1. I’m with you completely.

      In 2017 both the CDC and WHO published manuals on what to do in case of a major respiratory pandemic. It’s something they do regularly to prepare. It’s their job.

      The reports explain different scenarios for different possible strains of virus. Some are less and some are more deadly than COVID turned out to be. They obviously didn’t know about SARS-COV-2 back then so these are just scenarios.

      What these reports found is… Exactly what you say. There’s very little that can be recommended as a preventative measure with any degree of effectiveness. Yes, wash hands. It probably won’t help but it won’t hurt. Yes, create better sick leave policies. But basically, it’s going to rip through the population as it wishes.

      We are not completely helpless, though! We can strengthen our immune systems, live healthier, more active lifestyles, get the weight under control, and that will be the strongest measure we can individually take against this and possible future viruses.

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      1. The point they missed is that for politicians the effectiveness of their actions are not important. What is important is the appearance of taking action. Lockdowns and mask mandates are probably useless, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they allow one to be seen to be taking action. Eventually the virus will burn out by itself, and the politicians will claim that they have defeated it.

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  4. Say you have a bunch of negative patients and one asymptomatic infectious patient. How do you know that asymptomatic patient even has it? Of course they’re going to pass it on to the other patients, and as time goes on viral load grows, which increases the risk of someone getting sick.

    This was pretty much my experience as someone who had it. I got sick, but before I was sick I was asymptomatic and infectious. By the time I had any clue my whole family had at least been exposed, and now all but one is positive and has been sick because when you share a house there are fifty million little things you share with your housemates and you can’t clean every single one of them because chances are you have no idea what they all are. If you’re locked up in the same house together, even if you do your best to isolate, transmission still happens because of all these little things. As much as people wish that isolation and quarantine happen in a vacuum with absolutely no chance of transmission, it does happen, and the more contact you have with your household the higher the chance that you will also get sick.

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