Almost everyone I talk to, lay people and colleagues (I am a specialist in internal medicine and have worked for two years at a department of infectious diseases) consider the Coronavirus pandemic a pandemic of panic, more than anything else.
On 8 March, I published in the BMJ about this. I wrote: “What if the Chinese had not tested their patients for coronavirus or there had not been any test? Would we have carried on with our lives, without restrictions, not worrying about some deaths here and there among old people, which we see every winter? I think so.”
The WHO estimates that an influenza season kills about 500,000 people, or about 50 times more than those who have died so far during more than 3 months of the Coronavirus epidemic….
The panic looks like an unfortunate overreaction. We don’t even know if the risk of dying if you get infected with Coronavirus is higher than if you get influenza, or so many other virus infections, and most of those who die are old and suffer from comorbidity, just like for influenza….
The harms include suicides that go up in times of unemployment, and when people’s businesses built up carefully over many years lie in ruins, they might kill themselves. The panic is also killing life itself. John Ioannidis’ article from 17 March is the best I have seen so far: “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data.”
In the BMJ on 1 December Dr. Gøtzsche wrote, Is the infection fatality rate for COVID-19 worse than that for influenza?
Pastor-Barriuso et al. found an infection fatality rate for COVID-19 of 0.8% in Spain (1). They quote an unpublished review that found 0.68%, with estimates ranging from 0.16% to 1.60% (2). In their discussion, they mention this review again: “Our overall estimate of infection fatality risk was similar to that found in seroepidemiological surveys with a low risk of bias.”
But what about other reviews? They quote in the introduction a 2020 review by John Ioannidis, which is in press in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, (3) but do not say what he found, only that the magnitude of the infection fatality risk is being debated. Sure, but that is not informative.
Ioannidis included 61 studies (74 estimates) and eight preliminary national estimates. He reported that the infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 1.63% and that the median rate was 0.27% (3)….
The infection fatality rate seems to be about the same as for influenza, but we have never introduced these drastic measures before, when we had influenza pandemics. And we cannot live with them for years to come. The World Bank has just estimated that the corona pandemic has caused an increase of about 100 million people living in extreme poverty (9). This is not because of COVID-19. It is because of the draconian measures we have introduced. We need a better strategy.
In Burden of disease, the World Health Organization stated n December 2017: “seasonal influenza may result in 290 000-650 000 deaths each year due to respiratory diseases alone.”
Iuliano, A., Roguski, K., et al. (2017). Estimates of global seasonal influenza-associated respiratory mortality: A modelling study. The Lancet. 391. 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)33293-2.
Whatever it may be called, the ruse of a “pandemic” as the trigger for justifying the unconscionable consequences of locking down humanity indicates that a radically aberrant agenda is being pursued in 2020 contrary to what we are being told 24/7 by corporate/foundation/government media.