Another apology for an off-topic post again – but I’ll keep it brief.
I have carried out a literature review of the efficacy of masks and the efficacy of lockdowns against Covid-19, see the linked pdfs.
I don’t want to build them up to be more than they are. For lockdowns, in particular, there are more studies out there – I merely ran out of enthusiasm after 52. Also, I realised my initial idea, namely to gauge where the truth lies by seeing whether studies indicating efficacy or lack thereof came out as more numerous, was misguided. For example, a large number of studies making the same false assumption proves nothing.
The minimum one can take away from the exercise is that there is plenty of evidence that mask usage by the general public is not an effective protection, and that there is also plenty of evidence that lockdowns as practiced in most countries (outside of China and South Korea) were not effective. Whether this is true is another matter, but the widespread condemnation of those expressing such views as nutcases or irresponsible is certainly not justified.
I have not addressed the harms of these Non-Pharmacological Interventions, be they economic, psychological or sociological. In view of the severity of these adverse impacts, the scales seem to tip very clearly against the use of these NPIs.