By Abir Ballan
In this popular Twitter thread, Abir Ballan lays out all the information about Covid-19 so you can tell facts from fiction.
The pandemic is real. Excess deaths were observed in many countries. Not all countries were affected in the same way due to pre-existing immunity, the health status of the population and demographics (the proportion of elderly in the population) pic.twitter.com/2mtNX6GAqF— Abir Ballan 😊 (@abirballan) March 4, 2021
COVID 19 presents a high risk for the very few and negligible risk for the many. The infection fatality rate in different age groups:
<19 y, IFR= 0.003%
20-49 y: IFR= 0.02%
50-69 y: 0.5%
>70y, IFR= 5.4%
Not everybody is susceptible to the virus. If reinfected, pre-existing immunity from related viruses gives protection from developing the disease or from developing serious symptoms. “The evidence that a subset of people has a cross-reactive T cell repertoire through exposure to related coronaviruses is strong.“
Asymptomatic are not the main drivers of disease. Assuming that the test is a true (+), they might be infected but they present no symptoms most likely due to built up immunity from prior viruses. Secondary transmission is minimal with a low viral load.9/nhttps://t.co/0pkCNBhLaX— Abir Ballan 😊 (@abirballan) March 4, 2021
“In all the history of respiratory-born viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks. The driver of outbreaks is always a symptomatic person.”- Fauci
COVID 19, like many other viral infections, may rarely be followed by long-term effects, however, for the vast majority of patients, COVID 19 is a mild self-limiting illness with no long-term sequelae. See sequelae of influenza here.
Long-lasting immunity to SARS-CoV-2 exists. Following infection with SARS-Cov-2 people are protected. If exposed again to the virus, they will not get seriously sick. No need to be concerned about reinfection. Relax!
Once we stop locking down and messing up nature, COVID 19 will settle into an endemic state where it becomes part of a cocktail of respiratory viruses that live with us. We must learn to live with it. Our species has done this before. We can do it once again.
More on children
Teachers don’t have a higher prevalence of infection compared to other professions. Read: Covid-19 in schoolchildren: A comparison between Finland and Sweden
“If the COVID-19 hazard sets the new standard for health safety, the country will need to close its schools each year from November until April to guard against influenza.” – Scott Atlas
About the mitigation measures
PCR test can not diagnose infectiousness. It can detect chunks of the virus but does not tell if the virus can replicate. Diagnosing a person with COVID 19 based on a (+) test without clinical symptoms is not in line with pre-covid medical practice. Review report Corman-Drosten et al. Eurosurveillance 2020
The science behind social distancing rules (the 2 m rule) is absent. For high-risk individuals:
Avoid closed places and crowded indoor spaces.
Go to the beach, the park or to open markets.
Get some Vit D.
Masks are ‘safety blankets’. There is no scientific evidence to support their use in the community. Feel free to wear them if they make you feel safe.
“At present, there is no direct evidence (from studies on COVID19 and in healthy people in the community) on the effectiveness of universal masking of healthy people in the community to prevent infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.” World Health Organisation
Enforcing masks on children hampers their social development and reading social cues and non-verbal facial expression. It stunts oral expression. It creates a subservient generation who follows stupid rules that adults cannot justify logically.
Transmission from contact with surfaces is not a big deal. Hypersanitization is not necessary and even counterproductive. Washing hands is a good hygiene practice. Excessive use of sanitizing gels leads to skin irritations.
Lockdowns haven’t been shown to improve the final outcome of an epidemic. “We do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions.”
Health is not about the absence of disease or infirmity. Health consists of physical, mental and social well-being. Health is about the subjective quality of life and not just the prolongation of life. Life is about living and not just existing. It’s time to chose life.
About the author
Abir Ballan, MPH