The only way to “stop the spread” of Sars-Cov-2 is with lockdowns, masks, school closures, social distancing, travel bans, event cancellations, quarantines, tracing and hand washing, until we have vaccinations. (This would “flatten the curve” in 14 days and society would be allowed to return to normal.)
Sweden is an example of a country that quickly rejected the idea of lockdowns, and recommended but did not require social distancing, hand washing, working at home, or avoiding large gatherings. Masks were required only on public transportation, and that was eventually dropped. Twenty-one of the 30 European countries that kept statistics had COVID death rates higher than Sweden. Norway and Finland adopted even less restrictive policies, and had the lowest death rates. Belgium, on the other hand, had one of the strictest lockdown policies, and the second highest COVID mortality worldwide. As of August 2021, Sweden’s daily COVID mortality was close to zero.
A CDC study published in May 2020 in Emerging Infectious Diseases reported on 14 randomized, controlled trials addressing the use of face masks, hand washing and environmental cleaning and none showed any statistically significant, positive result on stopping the spread of a virus.
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