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IPFS News Link • Healthcare

The Science of Social Distancing Never Said It Could Slow This Pandemic

•, By David Burns

Data accumulated on social distancing since its onset has only served to reinforce the ineffectiveness as a strategy to slow the pandemic.  However, it has been very effective at disrupting social cohesion.

It seems that overnight, sometime around March 15th, America was introduced to the term "social distancing."  Rapidly, social distancing became nearly universally accepted, such that in just two weeks, by March 29th, the movement of Americans had been dramatically reduced.  Google Analytics data confirms this reduction in social contact, and those two weeks as a radical change in human behavior.  Humans are by and large social creatures, and yet everywhere they changed the way they lived nearly overnight, and cheered it.

Very few voices sounded opposition to this trend, and social distancing seems to maintain widespread support, rooted in a belief that it helped reduce a pandemic, and continues to do so. Questioning social distancing effectiveness can lose relationships, both of friend and family.  It can cost you your employment, should you vocally speak against it.  Finally, in some countries, as social distancing measures have been implemented by force, it can cost you your life.  Meanwhile, the costs of social distancing have been extraordinary.  Beyond the obvious economic destruction that it has brought to our planet, social distancing has had a tremendously negative health effect for many portions of the population.  Delayed medical treatments mean earlier death for some, and the effects of social isolation has exacerbated mental health issues.  We all see that the costs of social distancing are incredibly high.

So we must assume that the science on social distancing is airtight.  Any idea that produces such a trade off must be grounded in science and that science must say in advance what the trade offs actually are.