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Social Distancing and Lockdowns Don’t Work

George Gilder

Posted April 29, 2021

George Gilder

Below I’m featuring the latest on COVID and lockdowns from WIlliam Briggs.

Keep scrolling to read his thoughts…



tweet from Brumby discussing the prevelance of lockdown efficacy being questioned

A nice thread of papers proving what was always obvious to all but Experts.

I’ve said it, oh, three or four hundred times, but here it is again. Lockdowns force everybody in tight quarters, just like in fall when we go inside to escape the cold, there to more efficiently spread respiratory and other communicable diseases. See below for the predictable pattern that emerges, in the all-cause weekly death (or Perspective Plot).

All Experts knew this before 2020. They pretended to forget it after that.

The people in England know it:

tweet from Francis Hoar depicting a march of several thousand people through central London

Anti-social Distancing

In the Price of Panic we tell the story of so-called social distancing. It started as a little girl’s science project. She wrote a model, with the help of scientist dad, showing that social distancing works when you assume social distancing works.

Dad decided to juice it a bit and published it as a paper. Just one more paper with a model saying exactly what it was told to say, as all models do. But it was picked up by chance by WHO.


That’s what I said. Anyway, they picked it up and it became a thing. Not a good thing, either, for the WHO — don’t say it — recommended against social-distancing in a 2019 guideline paper.

But in 2020, being Experts, they forgot they said it.

Now some are touting the PNAS paper “A guideline to limit indoor airborne transmission of COVID-19” by Bazant and Bush, saying the paper says social distancing doesn’t work. You’ll see a lot of headlines of the “MIT study says 6 or 60 feet, it doesn’t matter” variety.

This is nice, in its way, but this paper, like all the others, is based on theoretical models which assume what it seeks to prove. From the Abstract:

We here build on models of airborne disease transmission in order to derive an indoor safety guideline that would impose an upper bound on the “cumulative exposure time,” the product of the number of occupants and their time in an enclosed space. We demonstrate how this bound depends on the rates of ventilation and air filtration, dimensions of the room, breathing rate, respiratory activity and face mask use of its occupants, and infectiousness of the respiratory aerosols.

Well, there it is. Models saying what they’re told to say. Their model was also told to say masks work, which observations show they don’t.

“Did they check their model against Reality, Briggs? You know. Make predictions and check them?”

You are so cute. Of course not.

However, it doesn’t make me sad that people are representing this paper as “proving” social-distancing doesn’t work.

Go here for the full update.

-William Briggs




George Gilder
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