Aug 22, 2020

All About Covid-19 While Standing on One Leg

Since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic of 2019, I have been collecting publications from the daily press and professional journals on the disease and the coronavirus. At the end of July, I summarized information on the origin and properties of the virus and on its spread around the world, on morbidity and mortality values, on the response of different countries and the course of the disease in half a year, and from available data I further estimated the values ​​of actual lethality and the infection rate in different countries (see Corona Summary, shortly CorSum or CS).

Below, the most important data are presented so concisely that they can be reviewed while standing on one leg1; some references are included here, and more can be found in CorSum2.

(1) In 2017, Western scientists warned of possible virus leaks from laboratories in Wuhan (here).
(2) In 2018, US diplomats warned against coronavirus leaks from the laboratories in Wuhan (here).
(3) In August and September 2019, satellite images showed a surge in traffic outside Wuhan hospitals (here).
(4) On 31 December, China reported an epidemic of pneumonia of unknown origin in the city of Wuhan (here), and the Wuhan police announced investigating eight people for spreading rumors of a new infection (here).
(5) On January 7, 2020, the journal Nature received a work by Chinese scientists who allegedly just succeeded in isolating and identifying a new coronavirus, including its RNA sequence, from a single patient within six days, the infection originating on the Wuhan meat market (here).
(6) On 21 January, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued Situation Report No 1 (here) announcing that a new viral disease had emerged in China at the end of December, that China had shared the genome sequence with the world for developing diagnostic kits on 12 January, and that the disease had meanwhile spread throughout China and neighboring countries including Japan, Korea and Thailand (here).
(7) On 23 January, the WHO’s situation report No 3 announced the spread of the disease in the United States (here), and on 25 January, report No 5 announced the spread worldwide (here).
(8) Both the disease and the virus got their names, Covid-19 and SARS-CoV-2, respectively  (here shortly CoV-2); it spreads a little faster than the flu (CorSum).
(9) It has been shown that 80% of those infected do not show symptoms (here).
(10) The number of allegedly infected by coronavirus (positively tested) was dramatically reported by the media all over the world, day after day, without most people realizing that this number depends on the number of tests performed.
11) The number of CoV-2 deaths was reported even more dramatically, without people realizing that even without the corona, 1% of the population annually die (CS), so that about 270 people die every day in Czechia, Israel or Sweden, 1644 in Italy and 9042 in the U.S. That is, out of 10 million inhabitants, 100,000 annually die (with CoV-2 in 8 months it was only 400 in Czechia, 800 in Israel, 5800 in Sweden); out of 60 million, 600 000 annually die (with CoV-2 in 8 months it was 35,000 in Italy); out of 330 million Americans, 3 300 000 die annually (with CoV-2 in 8 months it was 176,000 in the U.S.). The hysteria around corona deaths was absurd. 
(12) Only 1% of the people who die with CoV-2 have no other condition (here); mainly people over the age of 65 and suffering from cancer, serious heart conditions, respiratory problems, diabetes and obesity die (CS). However, even the people with increased risk have mortality merely between 0.05% and 0.5%. The fear of corona is not justified. 
(13) Mortality (deaths per million) on CoV-2 increases exponentially with age, three times for every 10 years of age (CS), so younger people do not die of CoV-2 without additional conditions, in contrast to influenza.
(14) The number of positively diagnosed by RT-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests in developed countries on August 20 ranged from 0.1% of the population in Australia, to 0.2% in Czechia, 0.3 % in Germany, 0.4% in Italy, 0.5% in Britain, 0.6% in Iceland, 0.7% in Belgium, 0.8% in Spain and Sweden, 1.1 % in Israel, and 1.7% in the U.S. (here).
(15) However, the number of actually infected was 10 to 100 times higher during the first half of the year, often 30 times higher, than the number positively tested (CS), which corresponded to the infection fraction in the above countries from 1% to 50% of the population.
(16) From fragmentary data on the antibodies measurement in the blood (here CS), the infection fraction in various areas in August can be assessed from a few % in Japan to 50% in Sweden (CS), or almost 60% in Northern Italy (here).
(17) The numbers of new infections and deaths in Italy have been declining since April (here), probably due to the higher achieved infection rates, and the numbers of deaths have further been declining due to the growing experience of medical staff.
(18) Countries that allegedly "almost caught up" all infected, including Japan and Australia, experienced a “second corona wave” (here).
(19) Sweden, which avoided most of the restrictive measures, was the 25th in the world in regard to the number of positively tested per capita, and the 8th in the world in regard to the number of death per capita (here).
(20) The fraction of the infected who die (lethality) is between 0.01% and 1% in all countries, similar to influenza (the number of deaths is divided by the number of actually infected, which is much higher than the number of positively tested, see CS).
(21) Some differences in mortality rates (deaths per million) between countries can be explained by different morbidity rates (infections per million); other possible causes, including different levels of health care, different human behavior, differences between virus strains, etc., are still awaiting detailed examination (CS).
(22) CoV-2, apart from the fact that children do not die from it, does not differ much from influenza in many respects, including the numbers of seasonal infections and deaths, and possibly also the number of people without symptoms (CS).
(23) Even mild asymptomatic infection confers cellular immunity against recurrent infection and thus contributes to the collective immunity (here).
(24) Testing of a random sample of the population, RT-PCR of nasal swabs and blood antibodies, would reveal the percentage of the currently infected population and the percentage of the previously infected population. Repeated testing would provide data on the spread of the disease and the infected fraction of the population, which data is necessary to plan the way forward, but surprisingly none of the 200 countries in the world have done such testing, although the cost would be a small fraction of the cost of those confused tests. It is said that "measuring healthy is useless", but measuring the infected is just as useless – only measuring randomly selected people would give the necessary information. Without such measurements, the green/ yellow/ red countries evaluations (here) are completely meaningless. Countries that have tested the entire population (e.g. Luxembourg) often had far more infections and deaths than countries that have measured barely half a percent of people (such as Taiwan or Japan). Without a plan, all the measurements have had no effect on anything. None of the 200 countries in the world or the WHO have set out any strategy; some indicated that it was necessary to break the infection chain and capture all the patients, but this was not possible due to the many asymptomatic cases and due to the limited number of tests; others decided to slow the spread of the disease, but the length of the whole action could not be estimated without measuring the infection fraction.
(25) In most countries, the management of the epidemic at national level was carried out by opportunists rather than experts with broad horizons; Western countries have shown that they are unable, either individually or in cooperation, to solve global problems (CS).
(26) The reduced medical services provided during the corona period will result in increased mortality from many conditions (untreated heart attacks and cancers), the thoughtless isolation of the elderly, held without family contacts, will take its toll too (here).
(27) The only reasonable practice was and still is to keep everything open and in action while protecting the weak from infection (instead of 'smart quarantine' or 'peak flattening', masks are enough), which has not been done anywhere. In almost all developed countries, medically useless measures have been introduced, which have been economically and socially harmful (travel bans, quarantine, etc.), but the weak have not been sufficiently protected, in many countries including Sweden (CS).
(28) China has been providing incorrect data at all times (CS); the West should draw scientific and political conclusions from the epidemic and claim at least $ 5,000 billion in reparations from China (CS).

1 Similarly, I have summarized the facts concerning the discussions on climate change (here).
2 Unfortunately, many links disappear over time.

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