The data we do have, Ioannidis explains, indicates that we are likely severely overreacting.
"The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco," Ioannidis writes in an opinion piece published by STAT on Tuesday.
"Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable," the statistician writes. "How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?"