This learning resource is about the efficacy of lockdowns[1]. It is a introduction to the comparison of lockdowns with other epidemiological risk mitigation strategies[2] like social distancing, wearing mask or workflow transformations (e.g. in schools[3]), that are aimed to reduce the risk of getting infected. If infection reaches staff members of health care facilities the number of available staff members (including self protection) decrease to perform the required services in the health care system so especially in the health care system it is important health care services up and running for the citizens for COVID-19 patients and all other required health care services. A lockdown has massive impact on society and economy in comparison to other epidemiological risk mitigation strategies like wearing mask and raising awareness importance for protective measures (see Risk Literacy) that avoid the implementation to a lockdown. Improvement of Risk Literacy in society and compliance with risk mitigation strategy is a preliminary step before introducing a lockdowns. The success of improved epidemiological risk literacy[4] a prior step before a lockdown to avoid the huge financial burdon for society, economy and governments, that lockdowns can induce. Furthermore the lockdown itself with other impacts on the health care system and public health (e.g. impact on mental health[5]) is part of complex decision making in the context of lockdowns.

SIR Model - Animation with different parameters
Health care capacity and flattening the curve - Lockdown and other preventive measures to keep health care system operational. Increase of cases per time - duration, patients stay in hospital for a necessary treatment

It is recommended to learn about the different risk mitigation strategies in epidemiological context of infectious diseases[6] and compare scientific evidence of the efficacy. This learning resource considers the efficacy of lockdowns in terms of scientific evidence about classification of the communicable disease SARS-CoV-2 and the basic underlying connection that

"people cannot infect others, if they do not meet"

On the other hand society depends of social contacts and interactions with each other[7]. Finding a balanced decision making between protection of vulnerable people, a health care system that can serve the demands in health care and keeping up social, cultural, economic processes is incorporated in complex decision making processes with the consideration of benefits and drawbacks. This includes a comparison of lockdowns with

  • other options of risk mitigations strategies (including multi-lingual real time training[8]) to prevent lockdown with all the side effects[9],
  • comparative assessment of the efficacy risk mitigations strategies and policy making[10][11].
  • the activities to improve the efficacy of other "non-lockdown" risk mitigation strategies (e.g. public protective measures - like wearing masks[12], ...)

Learning Activities edit

  • (Lockdown and other preventive measure in Epidemiology) First step in this learning resource is to understand, what kind of preventive epidemiological measures exist. Discuss preventive epidemioligical measures and public perception of these measure. Preventive measures in epidemiology are performed, to reduce the epidemiological spread of the disease. Preventive measures in epidemiology start much earlier that lockdowns, e.g. in hospitals when first cases appear for new disease (like COVID-19). Observations in hospital might show the pattern of an infection (e.g. contacts between a patient and visitors or between medical staff and patients for an unidentified disease and similar symptoms). Lockdowns are one option of preventive measures, that are used if the containment of the infectious disease cannot be performed anymore.
  • Beyond the risk mitigation strategies ommunication of preventive measures like social distancing and Workflow Transformations are measures to avoid lockdowns and the consquences of lockdowns on economy and society in general. Analyze the link between a risk literate society and the prevention of lockdowns.
  • How can the efficacy of other non-lockdown interventions can be improved to avoid lockdowns?
  • Compare other risk mitigation strategies with lockdowns and identify how the efficacy can be compared scientifically?
  • (Exploration and publications) Explore the pulbication listed below on efficacy of lockdown. Categories the publication according to underlying scientific methodologies to test efficacy of lockdown.
    • Are references to statements in scientific peer-reviewed journals available? Are you able to check these sources?
    • Did the implementation of the lockdown lead to reduced connectivity between population? What was the immpact of the lockdown and identify the methodology to measure the impact?
    • A vaccination is a virus specific response of the public health system to a virus outbreak if a vaccination is available, while a lockdown reduces contacts in general for communicable diseases. What are expected impacts of a lockdown to other communicable diseases and identify peer-reviewed journal that provide evidence for your assumption.
    • What is the impact of misinformation[13][14] to the prevention and control in the public health system? What other peer-reviewed publication should be added for a Neutral Point of View?
  • (Risk Mitigation) Explain, why reduction of connectivity between citizens slows down spreading of communicable diseases if a virus spreads from humans to humans. What are reasons for decisions makers for and against a lockdown? Why is an analysis of the efficacy of a lockdown important for decisions in the future? Why is epidemiological Risk Literacy in the population important that a lockdown has a significant impact? How can early efforts of risk awareness and risk literacy prevent a lockdown and its consequences for society and economy?
  • (Indirect Effects of Lockdowns to the respiratory System on One Health) Beside the link between virus SARS-CoV-2 and the impact on the respiratory system, there are other indirect effects of lockdowns to the respiratory system due to improvement of air quality pollution e.g. in megacities[15]. Analyze scientific evidence for the link between lookdowns and the impact on One Health.

References edit

  1. Redlberger-Fritz, M., Kundi, M., Aberle, S. W., & Puchhammer-Stöckl, E. (2021). Significant impact of nationwide SARS-CoV-2 lockdown measures on the circulation of other respiratory virus infections in Austria. Journal of Clinical Virology, 137, 104795.
  2. Yang, K., Liu, H., Ma, L., Wang, S., Tian, Y., Zhang, F., ... & Jiang, X. (2021). Knowledge, attitude and practice of residents in the prevention and control of COVID‐19: An online questionnaire survey. Journal of advanced nursing, 77(4), 1839-1855.
  3. Radha, R., Mahalakshmi, K., Kumar, V. S., & Saravanakumar, A. R. (2020). E-Learning during lockdown of Covid-19 pandemic: A global perspective. International journal of control and automation, 13(4), 1088-1099.
  4. Young, S. D., & Goldstein, N. J. (2021). Applying social norms interventions to increase adherence to COVID-19 prevention and control guidelines. Preventive Medicine, 145, 106424.
  5. Kola, L., Kohrt, B. A., Hanlon, C., Naslund, J. A., Sikander, S., Balaji, M., ... & Patel, V. (2021). COVID-19 mental health impact and responses in low-income and middle-income countries: reimagining global mental health. The Lancet Psychiatry, 8(6), 535-550.
  6. Forchette, L., Sebastian, W., & Liu, T. (2021). A comprehensive review of COVID-19 virology, vaccines, variants, and therapeutics. Current medical science, 41(6), 1037-1051.
  7. Atalan, A. (2020). Is the lockdown important to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic? Effects on psychology, environment and economy-perspective. Annals of medicine and surgery, 56, 38-42.
  8. OpenWHO (2022) COVID19-Channel - multi-lingual real time training and Capacity Building - URL: (assessed 2022/06/02)
  9. Viner, R., Russell, S., Saulle, R., Croker, H., Stansfield, C., Packer, J., ... & Minozzi, S. (2022). School Closures During Social Lockdown and Mental Health, Health Behaviors, and Well-being Among Children and Adolescents During the First COVID-19 Wave: A Systematic Review. JAMA pediatrics.
  10. Plümper, T., & Neumayer, E. (2022). Lockdown policies and the dynamics of the first wave of the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic in Europe. Journal of European Public Policy, 29(3), 321-341.
  11. Bhatt, P., Strachan, J., Easton, M., Franklin, L., & Drewett, G. (2022). Effect of COVID-19 restrictions and border closures on vaccine preventable diseases in Victoria, Australia, 2020–2021. Communicable diseases intelligence (2018), 46.
  12. Riley, J., Huntley, J. M., Miller, J. A., Slaichert, A. L., & Brown, G. D. (2022). Mask effectiveness for preventing secondary cases of COVID-19, Johnson County, Iowa, USA. Emerging infectious diseases, 28(1), 69.
  13. Rosenberg, H., Syed, S., & Rezaie, S. (2020). The Twitter pandemic: The critical role of Twitter in the dissemination of medical information and misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian journal of emergency medicine, 22(4), 418-421.
  14. Love, J. S., Blumenberg, A., & Horowitz, Z. (2020). The parallel pandemic: Medical misinformation and COVID-19. Journal of general internal medicine, 35(8), 2435-2436.
  15. Mahato, S., Pal, S., & Ghosh, K. G. (2020). Effect of lockdown amid COVID-19 pandemic on air quality of the megacity Delhi, India. Science of the total environment, 730, 139086.

See also edit