Fully referenced facts about covid-19, provided by experts in the field, to help our readers make a realistic risk assessment. (Regular updates below).
“The only means to fight the plague is honesty.” (Albert Camus, 1947)
Lethality: According to the latest immunological studies, the overall infection fatality rate (IFR) of covid-19 in the general population is about 0.1% to 0.5% in most countries, which is comparable to the medium influenza pandemics of 1957 and 1968.
Treatment: For people at high risk or high exposure, early or prophylactic treatment is essential to prevent progression of the disease and avoid hospitalization.
Age profile: The median age of covid deaths is over 80 years in most countries and only about 5% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. In contrast to pandemic influenza, the age and risk profile of covid mortality is thus comparable to normal mortality and increases it proportionally.
Nursing homes: In many Western countries, up to two thirds of all covid deaths have occurred in nursing homes, which require targeted and humane protection. In some cases it is not clear whether the residents really died of covid or of weeks of stress and isolation.
Excess mortality: Up to 30% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by covid, but by the effects of lockdowns, 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.
Antibodies: By summer 2020, global hotspots such as New York City and Bergamo had reached antibody levels of approximately 25%. Capital cities such as Madrid, London and Stockholm were around 15%. Large parts of Europe and the US, however, were still below 5%.
Symptoms: Up to 40% of all infected persons show no symptoms, about 80% show at most mild symptoms, and about 95% show at most moderate symptoms and do not require hospitalization. Mild cases may be due to protective T-cells from earlier common cold coronavirus infections.
Long covid: About 10% of symptomatic people report post-acute or long covid, i.e. symptoms that last for several weeks or months. This also affects younger and previously healthy people with a strong immune response. The post-viral syndrome is known from severe influenza, too.
Transmission: According to current knowledge, the main routes of transmission of the virus are indoor aerosols and droplets produced when speaking or coughing, while outdoor aerosols as well as most object surfaces appear to play a minor role.
Children and schools: In contrast to influenza, the risk of disease and transmission in children is very low in the case of covid. There was and is therefore no medical reason for the closure of elementary schools or other measures specifically aimed at children.
Contact tracing: A WHO study of 2019 on measures against influenza pandemics concluded that from a medical perspective, contact tracing is “not recommended in any circumstances”. Contact tracing apps on cell phones have also failed in most countries.
Sweden: In Sweden, total mortality without lockdown has so far been in the range of a strong influenza season. 70% of Swedish deaths occurred in nursing homes that were not protected quickly enough. The median age of the Swedish covid deaths is 84 years.
Virus origin: The origin of the new corona virus remains unclear, but the best evidence currently points to a covid-like pneumonia incident in a Chinese mine in 2012, whose virus samples were collected, stored and researched by the Virology Institute in Wuhan (WIV).
Surveillance: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that the covid pandemic may be used to permanently expand global surveillance. In several parts of the world, the population is being monitored by drones and facing serious police overreach during lockdowns.