Andrew Larkin: Social restrictions and science

Published: 1/21/2022 1:13:41 PM
Modified: 1/21/2022 1:12:36 PM

The science of epidemiology was clear in 2016 at the time of Dr. Donald Henderson’s death. He is credited with eliminating smallpox.

Henderson was the 20th century’s most acclaimed disease eradicator, and the chief on epidemiology at Johns Hopkins. In 2005, President Bush asked him to write a paper on pandemics. He wrote an article, “How a Free Society Deals with Pandemics.” In that paper, he wrote, “experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disruptive.”

Vaccinations are successful when the viruses did not mutate. There is currently a pandemic. Experts are invoking the science and memory of smallpox. They are recommending that restrictions be placed on social activities. This is a complete reversal of the standard practice of epidemiology in three short years. What was the evidence that caused the experts to change their minds? Was there a discussion in public discourse of why?

I wonder who are the people who have changed scientific opinion.

Andrew Larkin

Northampton


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