Selvom mange vestlige lande undgik lockdowns under Omicron-bølgen, genindførte nogle få store restriktioner. Et af disse var Holland.

Fra den 18. december blev 'ikke-nødvendige' butikker, barer, restauranter, fitnesscentre, museer og andre offentlige mødesteder lukket. Ikke mere end to gæster var tilladt i folks hjem, hvilket steg til fire i juleperioden. Sportskampe skulle spilles uden tilskuere. Og alle landets skoler blev lukket.

Efter at have annonceret foranstaltningerne sagde premierminister Mark Rutte: 'Jeg står her i aften i en dyster stemning ... Holland vil gå tilbage i lockdown fra i morgen.'

Kommentar: Delvist oversat af fra The Netherlands' Omicron lockdown was a complete failure

Measures were finally eased on January 26th - approximately five weeks later. What does the Netherlands have to show for these five weeks of restrictions? Absolutely nothing, as the chart below indicates:

netherlands omicron
The red shaded area shows the period for which restrictions were in place. As you can see, they had precisely zero effect on the case trajectory, which began climbing during lockdown, and then continued climbing once lockdown ended. In fact, infections didn't peak until February 12th - another two and a half weeks later.

The Netherlands is one of the world's most advanced countries, boasting the eighth highest score on the Human Development Index. If it can't get a lockdown to work - after double-vaccinating 70% of the population - what chance is there for the rest of us?

It's worth comparing what happened in the Netherlands to the course of events here in Britain - where, commendably, Boris refused to lock down (see below).
netherlands omicron
The overall shape of the curve is exactly the same as in the Netherlands. In fact, reported infections per million people peaked at a much lower level here than they did over there - 2,600 compared to 7,300.

This demonstrates, once again, that seeing infections decline shortly after a lockdown does not prove lockdown is what caused the decline. Infections have repeatedly declined in the absence of major restrictions, and sometimes without any discernible change in aggregate behaviour.

Unfortunately for the pro-lockdown scientists, the virus simply doesn't behave in the manner their models suggest. This was evident as early as April of 2020, when Sweden's first wave began to retreat. Yet almost two years later, they still haven't learned their lesson.