Confining vulnerable people into care homes during a pandemic produces the worst possible outcomes for them ― scientific article


Confining vulnerable people into care homes during a pandemic produces the worst possible outcomes for them ― scientific article

Ottawa, October 30, 2023

(Link to PDF of this media notice)

Governments have purported to correctly apply standard epidemiological models to create infectious disease policies during the COVID period, including to justify “protecting” vulnerable elderly individuals by isolating them from the general population in care homes.

In a new paper published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One, scientists at CORRELATION demonstrate that isolating vulnerable people from the healthier majority of the population actually produces the worst possible outcomes for them, according to these same standard epidemiological models of spread and transmission.

The article, entitled “Predictions from standard epidemiological models of consequences of segregating and isolating vulnerable people into care facilities”, was authored by Joseph Hickey, PhD and Denis G. Rancourt, PhD, of the non-profit CORRELATION Research in the Public Interest ( based in Ottawa, Canada.

The paper shows that the standard epidemic models, which have existed in the scientific literature for decades prior to the WHO’s COVID-19 pandemic declaration of 11 March 2020, unambiguously predict a significant increase in the infectious disease attack rate for the vulnerable population when it is isolated and segregated from the general population.

From the article:

“[T]he vulnerable population is harmed by isolation from the robust population and benefits from mixing with or dilution within the robust population, in terms of risk of infection during the course of the epidemic or pandemic.” …

“Whereas governments used theoretical epidemic models to justify most public health policies during the COVID era, within a tunnel vision of reducing risk of infection with a particular virus, they appear not to have considered what those same models predict about infection rates under conditions of care home segregation; and they appear to have disregarded the exponential increase of infection fatality rate with age. Care home segregation policies may have been responsible for many deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Western countries.”

The authors show that, in the present state of knowledge, isolation and segregation of the elderly is of no benefit in preventing deaths in epidemic or pandemic circumstances. The study is relevant to continued investigations of the acknowledged healthcare catastrophe that occurred in long-term care homes in Canada and other countries in the spring of 2020.

CORRELATION is a registered not-for-profit organization conducting independent scientific research on topics of public interest, and is entirely funded by individual public donations.

Media enquiries to Dr. Joseph Hickey:

CORRELATION blog post about the article:

All CORRELATION research articles:

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