I'm a baby boomer from the 1950s who has a different perspective on this virus than later generations. Read on for my unique approach.
What Is a Scientific Study ?
A field-tested scientific study should consist of a control group and a test group. Based on what the study is trying to accomplish would determine how both groups would need to set up. The conclusions drawn from the survey will be on resulting data, not opinion.
So, for example, suppose there was a need to do a study determining if Vitamin C was effective in weight loss. A control group and test group get established, where both groups would eat identical meals. One group would include Vitamin C with their meals, and the other group would use a placebo instead of Vitamin C. Neither group would know which one was taking Vitamin C.
At the end of a predetermined duration of time, the final results get tabulated. These results would lead to an analysis of the data who's conclusions drawn are based solely on the data. So, for example, if the group taking Vitamin C showed overall weight loss, one could conclude Vitamin C when added to meals helps in losing weight. If the group taking Vitamin C had an overall weight gain, then one could surmise taking Vitamin C can increase your weight. Finally, if results for both groups were similar, then one could conclude taking Vitamin C is indifferent to weight loss.
To further validate these results, identical testing would then need to be duplicated in other locations using different test groups. It's all about a premise, testing, and conclusions based on the data. Even Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity had to be validated before people completely bought into it. Scientists with opposing views didn’t just say,” Since it’s Einstein, it must be right.” These scientists required proof to validate Albert Einstein's theory, and eventually got it.
Was Appropriate Field Testing Done to Validate Social Distancing ?
So I'm looking for "field-tested" scientific studies validating social distancing as an effective means in the fight against the coronavirus. Though I’ve searched the internet far and wide, I've not been able to find any research done "in the field." There's been plenty of research done with computer simulations, and through a computer, simulations serve a purpose. It's not the same as the actual "field testing." Final results for computer simulations get created from assumptions and modeling, where final results for "field testing's" are based on live testing.
The Lancet recently published research based on Singapore data, and with the use of computer simulation, concluded social distancing to be an effective way to reduce the spread of a virus. NCBI also reported a study done on Emerging Infectious Diseases, also using computer simulations. Their assumptions also showed that social distancing works. But even though these computer simulations show social distancing to be effective against the coronavirus, in the real world, this is not the case.
And with no "field testing" done to validate these computer simulations and recommendations, then to implement social distancing in the real world would be taking a risk. In reality, decision-makers are taking the 'opinion' of a computer and trusting the results of the simulations. Once deployed, if things do not go as expected, deviating from the original plan will turn the world into a live test environment. And that's what has happened. The less than expected results for social distancing forced decision-makers to do real-time tweaking as well as the inclusion of tougher restrictions.
Why are These Questions Being Asked?
I'm asking these difficult questions because it’s been nearly 40 days since the initial implementation of social distancing. This process was supposed to dramatically reduce the number of cases and deaths by the coronavirus, allowing the world to get back to normal by the end of the duration. But the number of cases and deaths has gotten worse, not better. And with these negative results, the process of tweaking social distancing is in full swing, with additional restrictions added at will. The wearing of face-masks has now become mandatory in most places around the world.
The irony of requiring the use of face-masks is there are no studies, be it in the field or be it computer simulations that support face-masks as being effective against the coronavirus. But we do have expert opinions saying face-masks to be ineffective. A report from Prevention stated the CDC does not even recommend face-masks for the prevention of the coronavirus. Eric Toner, a scientist at John Hopkins University, told Business Insider that when it comes to face-masks preventing the coronavirus, “… it’s not likely to be very effective in preventing it”.
The CDC claims that face-masks are not to be worn for eight continuous hours, and people can exhibit labored breathing if worn too long. The CDC also stated that the improper use of these masks could make matters worse. People who continuously touch and adjust their face-masks increase their chance of getting the virus. Currently, the CDC only recommends the wearing of face-masks for people who have virus symptoms.
Final Thoughts On What Direction This Is Heading
Without proper "real-world field testing" validating these computer simulations, it appears as though the world is ‘winging it’ when it comes to fighting off the coronavirus. Though the fate of the world is dependent on social distancing being effective against the virus, there doesn't appear to be any actual "field testing" done to validate this to be true.
And because the world is 'winging it,' and as expected results fall short of expectations, new restrictions continue to be piled on to an already ineffective strategy. The addition of enforced lockdowns and curfews seem to have little impact as well.
So as the world's people continue to stay at home, they also wonder what other restrictions could be next? We only have to look at China for the answer. The Epoch Times and Breitbart are reporting cellphone users in China have dropped by over 21 million.
Will the use of cellphones be the next restriction in combating the coronavirus? It will if we continue, "winging it."
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.