We are figuring out why COVID-19 is worse than influenza, and the number of patients is growing not because of increasing testing coverage.
Pandemic from the start COVID-19 was accompanied by a huge amount of misinformation and myths. Some of them have lost their relevance (it seems that people have become less frequent drink bleach to fight coronavirus), but many misconceptions have proven to be exceptionally persistent.
Consider all options for denying the danger of infection SARS–CoV-2 within the same article is impossible. There are many covid dissident theories, but not all of them have captured the minds of the masses. For example, a veteran of conspiracy Judy Milkowitz put forward idea, what COVID-19 – a consequence of using a specific influenza vaccine. But this idea, like dozens of others, “did not go to the people.” In this article, we will look at several postulates that have received extensive press and even support from politicians.
Covid dissidents and HIV dissidents
The dogmas of covid dissidents are surprisingly little like the statements popularized by HIV dissidents. The latter are especially fanatical about the belief that HIV does not cause disease and that AIDS develops from the use of drugs to treat it. Deniers COVID-19 it is very rare to claim that the coronavirus cannot cause infection. They have never stated that the cause of the complications of coronavirus infection is the drug remdesivir. More often they proceed from the fact that COVID-19 exists, but its danger is greatly exaggerated. Usually they deny not the existence of the disease, but the need for measures that are introduced to fight the infection.
In addition to denying scientific knowledge, what do HIV dissidents and covid dissidents have in common? The common thing in both movements is that politicians play an important role in them. HIV dissident position of the former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki led to the death of about 300 thousand people. Many modern politicians in their speeches popularize the provisions that can cost the lives of millions.
“COVID-19 is no worse than the flu”
This myth arose at the very beginning of the pandemic, it was refuted by many studies. We dwell on it because it is unusually durable. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that COVID-19 is no worse than seasonal flu. However, the February transcript of his words, published in September, showedthat he knew about the danger of the virus and deliberately underestimated it. Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, called small flu coronavirus infection.
Deaths from COVID-19 and from influenza were indeed difficult to reliably compare at the start of the pandemic. In October there were published convincing evidence from the UK. From January to August 2020, three times more people died from coronavirus in the country than from influenza and pneumonia combined.
“The increase in the incidence is a consequence of increased testing”
Without mass testing for coronavirus, virtually nothing will change, many dissidents say. Donald Trump also had a hand in popularizing this postulate. “Without testing … we would have almost no cases of illness” – tweeted he’s in June. He claimedthat the increase in morbidity is a direct consequence of large-scale diagnostics. From this we can conclude that the number of infected remains at the same level, but the increase in the number of tests performed creates the effect of the spread of the disease.
This thesis has been refuted many times (1,2), this requires relatively simple calculations. For example, STAT News showsthat as the number of tests increased, so did the percentage of their positive results. The publication demonstrates this with the example of Florida. On May 13, about 15 thousand tests were conducted in the state, and on June 13, more than 65 thousand. But on May 13, there were 32 positive tests for every thousand tests, and on June 13 – 193. Thus, testing coverage really increased, but the proportion of infected people increased even more.
“No lockdown needed”
Against the background of the abolition of lockdowns, it has often been argued that these quarantine measures were unnecessary or even proved ineffective. Accordingly, many dissidents believe that they are not needed in the future either.
Scientists have carried out many calculations that show how many cases of illness, hospitalizations and deaths were prevented by quarantine in different countries. According to estimates, in Italy, from February to March, lockdown helped to avoid 200,000 hospitalizations. Researchers at Imperial College London believe that if 11 European countries did not have quarantine from March to May, it would led to an additional 3.1 million deaths. Quarantine in China prevented 285 cases of the disease.
“We need collective immunity”
An alternative to lockdown is often called a production strategy herd immunity… It is that people need to be “allowed” to get sick with COVID-19. After illness, those who have recovered and those who survived will develop immunity to the disease. When most people become resistant to the coronavirus, the infection will stop.
People who have had COVID-19 develop antibodies against the coronavirus. Scientists hope they reduce the risk of re-infection. But it is not known how long the immunity against this infection lasts and whether it has a real protective effect. Repeated cases of the disease occur. This is one of the weak points of the herd immunity theory against the new coronavirus.
Epidemiologists who study questions of population immunity believe that in the case of COVID-19, it is impossible or will have to pay a high price for it. American scientists countedthat 70% of the population in the US must be infected to achieve it. This could lead to 5-10 million hospitalizations and 2 million deaths.
In Sweden, whose government has abandoned the lockdown and allowed the infection to circulate freely, the number of deaths It was much higher than in neighboring countries. The country’s economy is practically did not win from the lack of quarantine.
“Masks are not needed”
During the outbreak of the pandemic, many international organizations (WHO) and popularizers of science almost unanimously repeated that ordinary people who do not care for the initiates do not need masks, their benefits have not been proven. This policy changed by April. There is now consensusthat masks effectively reduce the risk of infection.
Many people believe that requiring masks is a violation of civil rights, and not wearing masks is manifestation free thinking. Speak out against masks and politics. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp even sued with the mayor of Atlanta, for introducing the mandatory wearing of masks in the city.
Wearing masks scientifically sound prevention method COVID-nineteen. But it should not be forgotten that other precautions must be taken to prevent illness.