Public Policy

An Outbreak of Common Colds at an Antarctic Base after Seventeen Weeks of Complete Isolation

February, 1973


Six of 12 men wintering at an isolated Antarctic base sequentially developed symptoms and signs of a common cold after 17 weeks of complete isolation. Examination of specimens taken from the men in relation to the outbreak has not revealed a causative agent.

Spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the Icelandic Population

June, 2020


In a population-based study in Iceland, children under 10 years of age and females had a lower incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection than adolescents or adults and males. The proportion of infected persons identified through population screening did not change substantially during the screening period, which was consistent with a beneficial effect of containment efforts.

Debate: Should Governments Continue Lockdown Strategy?

June, 2020

Should governments continue lockdown to slow the spread of covid-19? Until we have a meaningful alternative, lockdown is the only thing we can do to prevent further catastrophic spread of the virus, says Edward R Melnick. 

But John PA Ioannidis argues that any benefits of lockdown depend on its effectiveness and the covid-19 burden—and that the harms are multifarious.

Illusory Effects of Non-pharmaceutical Interventions on COVID19 in Europe

June 8, 2020  -  Stefan Homburg, Christof Kuhbandner


Flaxman et al. (Nature, 8 June 2020,, 2020) infer that non-pharmaceutical interventions conducted by several European countries considerably reduced effective reproduction numbers and saved millions of lives. We show that their method is ill-conceived and that the alleged effects are artefacts. Moreover, we demonstrate that the United Kingdom?s lockdown was both superfluous and ineffective.