I wrote a tweet yesterday stating that #ZeroCovid "is not compatible with the individual rights and freedoms that characterise postwar democracies". My point was apparently largely misunderstood. Thus, I wish to clarify in this thread what I meant.
1/ https://twitter.com/BallouxFrancois/status/1357776017117560833
Many argued that those who live in places where #COVID19 had been successfully suppressed / eliminated tend to enjoy far higher quality of life and freedom. This is true, but is tangential to my point insofar #ZeroCovid implies far more than temporary suppression of the virus.
I believe #COVID19 needs to be carefully mitigated, including with the most invasive measures if required at times. I also believe that the countries that succeeded in eliminating #COVID19 made the right call to go down that route.
3/ https://twitter.com/ballouxfrancois/status/1281337388988600320?lang=en
Though, elimination of #SARSCoV2 is not just about faith and stringent measures. What has worked in some countries dismally failed in others. For example, Peru took possibly the harshest measures of any country and failed to eradicate the virus.
4/ https://twitter.com/AdamJKucharski/status/1355132354591916036
The #COVID19 pandemic will come to an end, as did previous pandemics of respiratory viruses (e.g. influenza 1918/1957/1968/2019). There are two possible endpoints, worldwide elimination and vaccine-mitigated endemicity. Nothing in between represents a stable equilibrium.
As long as there is transmission of #SARSCoV2 anywhere in the world, global elimination (i.e. #ZeroCovid) represents an unstable equilibrium. There are many places on earth where elimination is technically impossible. Others, such as the US, where it feels implausible.
I understand the appeal of #ZeroCovid . Though, I don't believe it is a realistic short-term aim and trying to go down that route could inflict enormous harm, both in terms of loss of individual rights in the West but also hunger and resurgence of other infections elsewhere.
Finally, on a lighter note it was a lesson not to tweet something about #COVID19 on a whim from my phone ...
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