This report’s conclusions are what I observed with the eyeball-o-matic Stat-O-Meter since the beginning – there are rarely correlations between policies and effectiveness in reducing the spread of Covid-19. The outcomes of policies are near random. We see high compliance face mask mandates – and then 10x more cases shortly after. We see intra-national travel restrictions having no impacts. We see random definitions of “essential” versus “non-essential” business and random business closures with no effects.
That most public health mitigation strategies do not work or work well was documented in numerous prior studies including the 91 page report from WHO in October of 2019. This latest study attempts to evaluate these policies’ impact specifically on Covid-19 as of this year.
This is spot on:
Also telling was the fact that better communications about the motivations for policies often had just as strong an effect as implementing the policy itself. If you explain to people why you might need to close restaurants, then chances are good that a lot of people will stop going to restaurants whether the rules are in place or not.
Yesterday I added an item to one of my prior blog posts about “Sell, don’t tell” approaches. This comes from an old organizational management concept – workers are more effective when they buy in to the strategy than if they are simply told “Do it”.
Public health communications earns a grade of -F for their past abysmal performance. My state and adjoining states have adopted a host of new measures – they are inconsistent, contradictory and incoherent. Of course many question these measures – and you then end up with enforced compliance rather than voluntary compliance.
We have seen time after time where cases fell in advance of authoritarian measures. When people understand the reasoning and the evidence, they voluntarily do what make sense to do. And they were doing the right things – like social distancing and hand washing – voluntarily, on their own, in advance of draconian and threatening “Orders”.
Public health has failed to communicate the reasoning behind their orders. Why is it okay for up to 50 people from 50 households outdoors at a church event but only up to 6 people from 2 households outdoors at a personal event? Why are unlimited numbers permitted for [some] protests and outdoor parks but zero at outdoor public gardens? Lacking any evidence or logic, the public becomes rightfully skeptical.