Two years ago today, the U.K. climbed aboard the international lockdown bandwagon that had been gathering momentum in the preceding fortnight and ordered the whole population to stay at home. The aim was to try to ‘flatten the curve’ of coronavirus infections, and thus (it was said) ease peak pressure on the health service.
The policy, as it turned out, was completely unnecessary. As Professor Carl Heneghan pointed out as early as April 20th 2020, and Chris Whitty admitted to MPs that July, new daily infections were already falling ahead of the lockdown. The same thing happened on the next two occasions as well, as mathematician Professor Simon Wood has shown. All three times that the U.K. Government imposed a lockdown in England – March 2020, November 2020 and January 2021 – infections were falling before the restrictions came in.