Below are a number of published papers finding that lockdowns had little or no efficacy (despite unconscionable harms) along with a key quote or two from each:


This article is based on a collation initially done by twitter user @the_brumby



“there is no evidence that more restrictive nonpharmaceutical interventions (“lockdowns”) contributed substantially to bending the curve of new cases in England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, or the United States in early 2020”

LINK (Eran Bendavid et al)



“Inferences on effects of NPIs are non-robust and highly sensitive to model specification. Claimed benefits of lockdown appear grossly exaggerated.”

LINK (John P.A. Ioannidis et al)



“government actions such as border closures, full lockdowns, and a high rate of COVID-19 testing were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality"

LINK (Rabail Chaudhrya et al)



“Official data from Germany’s RKI agency suggest strongly that the spread of the coronavirus in Germany receded autonomously, before any interventions became effective"

LINK (Christof Kuhbandner et al)



“the decline in infections in England...began before full lockdown…[S]uch a scenario would be consistent with...Sweden, which began its decline in fatal infections shortly after the UK, but did so on the basis of measures well short of full lockdown"

LINK (Simon N. Wood)



“the UK lockdown was both superfluous (it did not prevent an otherwise explosive behavior of the spread of the coronavirus) and ineffective (it did not slow down the death growth rate visibly)."

LINK (Stefan Homburg et al)



“Given that the evidence reveals that the Corona disease declines even without a complete lockdown, it is recommendable to reverse the current policy and remove the lockdown"




“stay at home orders, closure of all non-essential businesses and requiring the wearing of facemasks or coverings in public was not associated with any independent additional impact"

LINK (Paul R Hunter et al)



“these strategies might not have saved any life in western Europe. We also show that neighboring countries applying less restrictive social distancing measures … experience a very similar time evolution of the epidemic."

“since the full lockdown strategies are shown to have no impact on the epidemic’s slowdown, one should consider their potentially high inherent death toll as a net loss of human lives”

LINK (Thomas Meunier)



“the model does not support [the] estimate that lockdown reduced the case reproduction number R by 81% or that more than three million deaths were averted by non-pharmaceutical interventions."

(Referring to Nature paper by Flaxman and other Imperial College modellers)

LINK (Marco Colombo et al)



“The case of Sweden, where the authors find the reduction in transmission to have been only moderately weaker than in other countries despite no lockdown having occurred, is prima facie evidence against the paper's main claim."

(Referring to Nature paper by Flaxman and other Imperial College modellers)

LINK (Nicholas Lewis)



"general social distancing was also projected to reduce the number of cases but increase the total number of deaths compared with social distancing of over 70 only"

“Strategies that minimise deaths involve the infected fraction primarily being in the low risk younger age groups—for example, focusing stricter social distancing measures on care homes where people are likely to die rather than schools where they are not.”

“results presented in the report suggested that the addition of interventions restricting younger people might actually increase the total number of deaths from covid-19”

LINK (Ken Rice et al)



"We show that [lockdown] is modestly superior in saving lives compared to [focused protection], but with tremendous costs to prevent one case of death. This might result in overwhelming economic effects that are expected to increase future death toll”

LINK (Amir Shlomai, et al)



"For pathogens that inflict greater morbidity at older ages, interventions that reduce but do not eliminate exposure can paradoxically increase the number of cases of severe disease by shifting the burden of infection toward older individuals”

LINK (Ted Cohen et al)



"current policy [overwhelmingly to lockdown] can be misdirected and with highly negative effects on human welfare. Moreover, such policies can inadvertently result in not minimizing death rates (incorporating externalities) at all, especially in the long run”

LINK (Morris Altman)



"For example, the data…shows a decrease in infection rates after countries eased...lockdowns with >99% statistical significance. Indeed...infection rates have declined after reopening even after allowing for an appropriate measurement lag. This means that the pandemic and COVID-19 likely have its own dynamics unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures that were being implemented."

LINK (Marko Kolanovic et al)



"restrictions imposed by the pandemic (eg, stay-at-home orders) could claim lives indirectly through delayed care for acute emergencies, exacerbations of chronic diseases, and psychological distress (eg, drug overdoses)"

"more than 50% of excess deaths were attributed to underlying causes other than COVID-19; these included California (55% of excess deaths) and Texas (64% of excess deaths)"

LINK (Steven H. Woolf et al)



"We found that 180-day of mandatory isolations to healthy <60 (ie schools and workplaces closed) produces more final deaths if the vaccination date is later than (Madrid: Feb 23 2021; Catalonia: Dec 28 2020; Paris: Jan 14 2021; London: Jan 22 2021)"

LINK (Levan Djaparidze et al)



"Comparing weekly mortality in 24 European countries, the findings in this paper suggest that more severe lockdown policies have not been associated with lower mortality. In other words, the lockdowns have not worked as intended"

LINK (Christian Bjørnskov)



"[the] President...has flatly denied the seriousness of the pandemic, refusing to impose a lockdown, close schools, or cancel mass events…Yet the country’s death rate is among the lowest in Europe-just over 700 in a population of 9.5 million"

LINK (Kata Karáth)



"living with children 0-11 years was not associated with increased risks of recorded SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 related hospital or ICU admission but was associated with reduced risk of COVID-19 death"

"Our results demonstrate no evidence of serious harms from COVID-19 to adults in close contact with children, compared to those living in households without children"

LINK (Harriet Forbes et al)



"Consistent with observations that .. lockdown has not been observed to effect the rate...of the country reproduction rates significantly, our analysis suggests there is no basis for expecting lockdown stringency to be an explanatory variable"

LINK (Nick Hudson et al)



"This study shows that the virus is already here, and we must find ways of living with it such that it caused no or minimal human and socioeconomic losses in ... Nigeria as a whole…. going back to the lockdown should never again be entertained"

LINK Hussaini Majiya et al)



"recruits were under the constant supervision of Marine Corps instructors. Other settings in which young adults congregate are unlikely to reflect similar adherence to measures intended to reduce transmission"

"Our study showed that in a group of predominantly young male military recruits, approximately 2% became positive for SARS-CoV-2, as determined by qPCR assay, during a 2-week, strictly enforced quarantine."

LINK (Andrew G. Letizia, M.D et al)



"The national criteria most associated with death rate are life expectancy and its slowdown, public health context (metabolic and non-communicable diseases (NCD) burden vs. infectious diseases prevalence), economy (growth national product, financial support), and environment (temperature, ultra-violet index).

Stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate"

LINK (Quentin De Larochelambert et al)



"Whether a county had a lockdown has no effect on Covid-19 deaths; a non-effect that persists over time. Cross-country studies also find lockdowns are superfluous and ineffective (Homberg 2020). This ineffectiveness may have several causes"

LINK (John Gibson et al)



"There are no historical observations...that support.. confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods...The negative consequences...are so extreme…this mitigation..should be eliminated from serious consideration"

LINK (Thomas V. Inglesby et al)



"we present data demonstrating that mortality due to covid-19... could have been largely predicted even before the pandemic hit Europe, simply by looking at longitudinal variability of all-cause mortality rates in the years preceding the...outbreak"

"whatever factors that drove excess mortality rates in 2020 were present already in 2015-2019, ie during a period when no measures were undertaken in any country"

LINK (Jon O. Lundberg et al)



"Our analysis shows that while infection levels decreased, they did so before lockdown was effective, and infection numbers also decreased in neighbour municipalities without mandates"

"The data suggest that efficient infection surveillance and voluntary compliance make full lockdowns unnecessary at least in some circumstances."

LINK (Kasper Planeta Kepp et al)



"Third, I describe how reality started sinking in, with information on significant collateral damage due to the response to the pandemic, and information placing the number of deaths in context and perspective.

Fourth, I present a cost-benefit analysis of the response to COVID-19 that finds lockdowns are far more harmful to public health than COVID-19 can be"

LINK (Ari R Joffe, November 2020)

For updates / corrections DM me at twitter

See also for more papers.