On the UnHerd youtube channel, they interviewed "Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke" who said (around 3 minutes in) that while there's science behind hand washing to prevent the spread of disease,

but the rest of them [measures] like border closures, school closures, social distancing there's almost no science behind most of these.

Giesecke seem to be fairly well-known, e.g. he has a WHO page which says "he was the first Chief Scientist of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)."

So is what he saying true, especially about social distancing?

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    It's like this paper in the BMJ: bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k5094 . There is basically no medical evidence on the efficacy of parachutes, but that doesn't mean they are not effective. Having randomised control studies is good, but sometimes you just have to go with common sense. – Paul Johnson Apr 25 at 10:49
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    @Paul sounds like an answer to skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/1064/… ! – Andrew Grimm Apr 25 at 11:26
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    Of course there's no science--how could there be? This is the first pandemic where social distancing was even tried as a response, it's impossible to have studied it! Also, even now we can't do a proper scientific study. – Loren Pechtel Apr 25 at 21:24
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    @LorenPechtel: no it's not the first. – Fizz Apr 25 at 21:31
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    @LorenPechtel: USA 1918-1919, see my first comment replying to Hartmut Braun. Also, more recently in the Ebloa outbreaks in Africa. These measures were not all identical, but surely something can be learned from them. – Fizz Apr 25 at 21:47

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