“The only way to fight the plague is with decency” (Albert Camus, 1947). Facts about Covid-19 (update 06/10/2020) by Swiss Policy Research (SPR)

Facts about Covid-19

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Research update by Swiss Policy Research (SPR), founded in 2016, is an independent and nonprofit research group investigating geopolitical propaganda in Swiss and international media. SPR is composed of independent academics and receives no external funding other than reader donations.

“The only way to fight the plague is with decency” (Albert Camus, 1947)

Overview

According to the latest immunological studies, the overall lethality of Covid-19 (IFR) in the general population ranges between 0.1% and 0.5% in most countries, which is comparable to the medium influenza pandemics of 1957 and 1968.

For people at high risk or high exposure (including health care workers), early or prophylactic treatment is essential to prevent progression of the disease.

In countries like the UK (with lockdown) and Sweden (without lockdown), overall mortality since the beginning of the year is in the range of a strong influenza season; mortality is higher in the USA (comparable to 1957/1968), but lower in countries like Germany and Switzerland. However, antibody values are still low in large parts of previously locked-down Europe.

In most places, the risk of death for the healthy general population of school and working age is comparable to a daily car ride to work. The risk was initially overestimated because many people with only mild or no symptoms were not taken into account.

About 80% of all people develop only mild symptoms or no symptoms. Even among 70-79 year olds, about 60% develop only mild symptoms. About 95% of all people develop at most moderate symptoms and do not require hospitalization.

Up to 60% of all people may already have a partial T-cell immune response against the new coronavirus due to contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. cold viruses). Moreover, up to 60% of children and about 6% of adults may already have cross-reactive antibodies.

The median age of Covid deaths in most Western countries is over 80 years – e.g. 84 years in Sweden – and only about 4% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. In contrast to flu pandemics, the age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality.

In many countries, up to two thirds of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid-19 or from weeks of extreme stress and isolation.

Up to 30% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid-19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 40% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.

Many media reports of young and healthy people dying from Covid-19 turned out to be false: many of these young people either did not die from Covid-19, they had already been seriously ill (e.g. from undiagnosed leukaemia), or they were in fact 109 instead of 9 years old. The claimed increase in Kawasaki disease in children also turned out to be exaggerated.

Most Covid-19 symptoms can also be caused by severe influenza (including pneumonia, thrombosis and the temporary loss of the sense of taste and smell), but with severe Covid-19 these symptoms are indeed much more frequent and more pronounced.

About 10% of symptomatic people develop so-called post-acute (“long”) Covid and report symptoms that last for several weeks or months. This may also affect younger and previously healthy people with a strong immune response to the new coronavirus.

The often shown exponential curves of “coronavirus cases” are misleading, as the number of tests also increased exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to tests overall (i.e. the positivity rate) always remained below 20%. In many countries, the infection peak was already reached well before the lockdown came into effect.

In most Covid hotspots, including New York City, London, Stockholm and Bergamo, the infection rate dropped as soon as about 20% of people had developed antibodies against the new coronavirus. This value is much lower than the inital estimate of 60 to 80%.

Countries without lockdown, such as Japan, Belarus and Sweden, have not experienced a more negative course of events than many other countries. Sweden was even praised by the WHO and now benefits from higher immunity compared to lockdown countries. 75% of Swedish deaths happened in nursing facilities that weren’t protected fast enough.

The fear of a shortage of ventilators was unjustified. According to lung specialists, the invasive ventilation (intubation) of Covid-19 patients, which was partly done out of fear of spreading the virus, is in fact often counterproductive and damaging to the lungs.

The main routes of transmission of the virus are direct contact and droplets produced when talking or coughing, but also indoor aerosols (small particles floating in the air). Outdoor aerosols and surfaces of objects appear to play only a minor role.

There is still little to no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in the general population, and the introduction of mandatory masks couldn’t contain or slow the epidemic in most countries. Some experts warn that face masks may interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers” if used repeatedly.

Many clinics in Europe and the US remained largely underutilized during lockdowns and in some cases had to send staff home. Millions of surgeries and therapies were cancelled, including many cancer screenings and organ transplants.

Several media were caught trying to dramatize the situation in hospitals, sometimes even with manipulative images and videos. In general, the unprofessional reporting of many media maximized fear and panic in the population. As a result, according to international surveys, most people dramatically overestimate Covid-19 lethality and mortality.

The virus test kits used internationally may in some cases produce false positive and false negative results, react to non-infectious virus fragments from a previous infection, or react to other common coronaviruses with a partially similar gene sequence.

Numerous internationally renowned experts in the fields of virology, immunology and epidemiology consider the measures taken to be counterproductive and recommend rapid natural immunization of the general population and protection of risk groups.

At no time was there a medical reason for the closure of elementary schools, as the risk of disease and transmission in children is extremely low. There is also no medical reason for small classes, masks or ‘social distancing’ rules in elementary schools.

Several medical experts described express coronavirus vaccines as unnecessary or even dangerous. Indeed, the vaccine against the so-called swine flu of 2009, for example, led to cases of severe neurological damage and lawsuits in the millions. In the testing of new coronavirus vaccines, too, serious complications and failures have already been reported.

A global respiratory disease pandemic can indeed extend over several seasons, but many studies of a “second wave” are based on very unrealistic assumptions, such as a constant risk of illness and death across all age groups.

US nurses described an oftentimes fatal medical mismanagement of Covid patients due to questionable financial incentives and inappropriate medical protocols. However, in many places Covid lethality has dropped significantly due to better treatment options.

The number of people suffering from unemployment, depression and domestic violence as a result of the measures has reached historic record levels. Several experts predict that the measures will claim far more lives than the virus itself. According to the UN 1.6 billion people around the world are at immediate risk of losing their livelihood.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that the “corona crisis” may be used for the permanent expansion of global surveillance. In several parts of the world, the population is being monitored by drones and facing serious police overreach during lockdowns.

A 2019 WHO study on measures against pandemic influenza found that from a medical perspective, “contact tracing” is “not recommended in any circumstances”. Nevertheless, contact tracing apps have already become partially mandatory in several countries.

The origin of the new coronavirus remains unknown, but the best evidence currently points to a Covid-like pneumonia incident in a Chinese mine in 2012, the viral samples of which were collected, stored and examined by the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

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