Protocol for Reopening Society

On this website you’ll find Live Data as well as Shared Stories. There is also the opportunity to share your own story. Together, data and anecdotal evidence form a clearer picture of where we are and where we should be. Good public policy is informed by such evidence.

The content following is direct from the site’s About pages:

Pandemics ~ Data & Analytics (PANDA) is a multidisciplinary group seeking to inform policy. PANDA considers explanations that allow us to count the human costs of COVID-19 responses globally. PANDA is a collective of leading scientists, actuaries, economists, data scientists, statisticians, medical professionals, lawyers, engineers and businesspeople working as a collective to replace bad science with good science. PANDA members work voluntarily, offering their skillset to contribute to informed policymaking and decisioning. PANDA is not aligned with any political entities and is funded by its members, speaking engagements and the public.

Our key principles

  1. Lockdowns run contrary to pre-COVID science (endorsed by the WHO and other medical bodies), which consistently advised against quarantining the healthy under any circumstances, particularly because they entail devastating collateral damage (lack of access to healthcare for other medical emergencies, psychological trauma due to lack of human interaction, lower tax revenues to provide social services and starvation and poverty from job losses to name a few).  There is no evidence in the data (after nearly a year) to justify a change in the pre-lockdown science.  Analysing the data, there is simply no correlation between the stringency of lockdowns and the number of deaths experienced.
  2. Imposing restrictions on healthy people, including mandatory mask wearing runs contrary to pre-COVID science.  As recently as December 2020, the WHO stated “that there is limited and inconsistent evidence to support the effectiveness of masking healthy people.” There is also science suggesting that extended periods of mask wearing can be harmful due to oxygen deprivation and various other side-effects. Health and safety laws have traditionally limited the time during which masks can be mandated.  Observational as well as the more rigorous RCT studies undertaken since 2020 have only added to the science recommending against mandatory masking. PANDA believes that there is sufficient doubt around the efficacy of masks and sufficient evidence that they can have harmful effects, that masks should not be mandated. However, PANDA supports each individual’s right to choose to wear a mask.
  3. Poor countries, such as South Africa, are the worst affected by lockdowns as they don’t have the financial resources or infrastructure to support the people who have lost their jobs due to the economic collapse caused by restricting the economy.  Poverty is a key driver of poor health outcomes and deaths in developing countries and lockdowns significantly increase poverty.
  4. Within a society, poor people are the worst affected by lockdowns.  Poor people tend to live in more densely populated environments, have jobs that are less conducive to remote working, lack the resources to educate their children remotely and the money to afford good healthcare.  They are the first to lose their income when lockdowns are imposed.  Lockdowns have resulted in the rich isolating at home and being served by the poor, with the wealth gap widening as a result.
  5. It is questionable if one can control a virus at all (unless you aggressively quarantine an island nation such as Singapore or New Zealand and deploy an intensive entry testing and isolation system).  If successful, these measures mean that a population must remain isolated until the virus has disappeared.  Although viruses are known to attenuate over time, it is unusual for a virus to disappear entirely. The Spanish flu continues to circulate today.  Where a virus has a significant aged-based mortality component, efforts to ‘shelter’ should, in our view, be focused on the most vulnerable (elderly and people with co-morbidities in the case of SARS-CoV-2) whilst allowing the rest of society to continue as normal – which will reduce the economic (and thus social) trauma felt – increasing the resources to protect the vulnerable.
  6. By implementing focused protection, the natural outcome will be greater community immunity as the young and healthy develop immune responses (with little danger to them) to the virus, short-circuiting its spread to the most vulnerable.  This is not a ‘strategy’, but rather an inevitable outcome of focused protection.  Focused protection is not an alternative to vaccination.  Effective and safe vaccination would enhance community immunity levels.  Studies of previously infected COVID patients are showing what we knew already – the human immune system is complex and very effective.

Only open science, debate, and policy transparency allow us to understand the problem better and make wiser policy choices.

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