MEDICAL EXPERTS: CORONA MEASURES MUST BE ABOLISHED
The doctors newspaper is a magazine for general practitioners in Belgium.
Da doctors newspaper is a Flemish magazine for general practitioners, published both in French and in Dutch with a total circulation of 26.000. But it seems like they are doing everything online now.
To have an idea. In 2014, Belgium had about 16.000 GPs. A decent edition.
All the more important is this letter and the Dutch version, or joint, will have to come soon, one would say. The letter is quite clear about masks, PCR tests, vaccines, corona measures and all side issues.
No politician can ignore this anymore.
Allee, Sam Brongen, professor of Health Sciences and researcher have written an open letter on behalf of 1.400 medical care professionals.
The open letter is addressed to the Belgian government and the expert groups.
That this happens is very special. Medics do not like to lose their colleagues and we have also seen several times that a different opinion, about the treatment of covid-19 or about the measures taken, can lead to consequences and people can even lose their job (source) one gets one threatening letter from the government.
What is also striking is that not the US, Spain, Brazil or Italy are the hardest hit countries by corona .. That is Belgium. That country has suffered the most per million inhabitants. This does not alter the fact that it has also been a relatively irrelevant virus in figures in Belgium.
The media gives a completely different picture of reality by playing with you with absolute numbers. That is so easy and so low to the ground because what does a number say without context?
The Netherlands has 366 deaths (36 direct deaths) per million inhabitants.
Spain has 652 deaths (65 direct) per million inhabitants.
Widely calculated. It is lower because in all countries more than 90% of those registered died of another disease but with covid.
Brazil would also be wise to prohibit the media from tallying false alarming figures or harassing people on TV daily. That's common sense with only 640 deaths per million.
Brazil is portrayed as if it were chaos there. Only the media does not show how many inhabitants that country has.
210 million inhabitants. Almost a third of all of Europe. But people are getting a different image thanks to these rotten media.
Belgium did the worst. “As many as” 857 deaths per million inhabitants. Like worldwide, more than 90% of the patients died from serious other complaints in combination with often old age (average 80+). For people in that situation, a virus is an attack and often the last push. In these cases it concerned the so-called SarsCov2 virus.
This is all based on the official figures. So not counting the "rumours" about cheating. Also not counting the facts of mega scams.
Also not counting is that, just like with the flu now, we are starting a new season. The counter should be at 0. All logic that people refuse to bring into the living rooms. The crooks in Hilversum and Flanders.
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OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENT OF BELGIUM IN THE DOCTOR'S NEWSPAPER
“We propose to evolve towards a reverse lockdown where at-risk patients can work out a strategy together with their doctor around taking the necessary individual measures for self-protection.”, it says in a quote below the photo.
Since it is an open letter, we take the liberty to post it here:
Sam Braken on behalf of 1.400 medical experts in Belgium:
The Sars-Cov-2 virus has found its place among all the other pathogens that are part of our daily existence. As such, we must assume that this will not disappear.
Based on nine months of scientific data, it increasingly appears that the current measures are disproportionate (1, 1D). A recent article in The Lancet states clearly that no link was found between the measures imposed and the number of deaths (1F). Social distancing appears to be based on dated articles published between 1894 and 1940 (1E, 1G). Furthermore, the efficiency of mouth masks is debatable given that aerosols (virus particles) travel over distances of up to 8 meters even when using them (1E, 1G). We therefore question the current approach and on the one hand demand scientific justification and an evaluation of the collateral damage. On the other hand, we propose to move to a reverse lockdown that can proportionally protect those groups that benefit from it, and to phase out actions that negatively affect the sociopsychological well-being of the population and thus cause very great damage.
Curbing the Sars-Cov-2 seems an acceptable strategy at first sight, but it will never solve the problem unless we accept to spend the rest of our days in a fear society where personal freedoms are restricted without much scientific evidence.
For the seasonal flu that causes between 320.000 and 650.000 deaths worldwide each year (up to a million in a pandemic year), we have never taken measures, shielded the elderly or promoted working from home (2). There was rarely a narrative attached to it.
We understand that at the start of the crisis there was a lack of clarity about the seriousness and impact of this virus. Mindful of the principle of prudence, one can accept the then demands with respect to the population. With the data we have today, the narrative that was started at the time appears to have taken on a life of its own and it strongly seems that the protagonists in this story want to maintain this.
Based on (the most recent) scientific articles and argumentation, we therefore question the current approach.
The data and framing
During the first lockdown, the focus was on hospital (IC) admissions and deaths. Now that there are relatively few deaths and hospital admissions to report, communication is being conducted around the increasing number of infections. Infections that say nothing in themselves. A review study clearly shows that 'positive tests' can occur in previously experienced illnesses or in patients who are non-infectious (5E). Test patients for strep, staph, cold (corona) viruses and many will test positive. We seem to forget that we live in symbiosis with pathogens.
As an explanation, we hear that some patients of mild to moderate severity also show cardiac and pulmonary lesions. We would like to inform you that this has also been established in overview studies for the seasonal flu (Influenza) (14, 15, 16, 17) in which more than 20% of cases require hospitalization and up to 8% die. It is also rightly stated that a higher number of infections can lead to the reaching of weaker people. This has always been the case with other pathogens in our society, the zero risk simply does not exist.
In fact, several studies show that 50% to 80% of the infected population show no or mild symptoms. 10% to 15% have more severe (non-life-threatening) symptoms and a small residual group, subject to comorbidities and usually of advanced age, is at risk for intensive treatment (18, 19, 20). This is little different from a true influenza infection. For the latter, we have never before taken such measures or called in hospitalizations (cf. 'flatten the curve)). They were rarely tested and written off as 'natural death'. This therefore raises ethical questions.
We further note that many epidemiological definitions were put forward during the course of the pandemic. The CFR (Case Fatality Rate), the IFR (the Infection Fatality Rate) and the mortality rate, to name the most important. However, these are subject to correct and representative data.
Since the inception, it has been clear that the mortality rates are an amalgam of excess mortality, confirmed and unconfirmed cases. For example, the Sciensano website states that of the contingent of 9.885 Covid-19 deaths, 74% from residential care centers are 'possible cases'. 49% of reported deaths occurred in hospitals with 95% confirmed as Covid-19 (1).
As we know, IFR / CFR decrease as a pandemic lasts and more data is available. Where at the start the IFR was estimated between 1 and 3,6% (1B, 1C, 3), it appears on the basis of figures from June (2) that the IFR would be between 0,3% and 0,5%.
Another month later, a study by Stanford University (3) shows that we are already at 0,24% internationally. For a pandemic seasonal flu, we find 0,10% to 0,17% (4). It cannot be denied that Sars-Cov-2 has a higher mortality rate than seasonal flu, at least on the basis of the data available to date. On the other hand, we can assume that as the pandemic progresses, the IFR will decrease and we also see that the majority of deaths are to be regretted in the elderly and / or weaker groups (20B).
The RT-PCR test, T cell response and clinical examination
In RT-PCR testing, between 2,3 and 6,9% of the tests would be false positive (4B, 5B). A very recent review study (03/09) reports that there is over-reporting because 'old' infections from non-infectious persons can yield 'positive' samples (5C).
According to the CDC in the United States, reducing it from 40 to 30 test cycles would reduce “positive cases” by 63% as the test now responds to genetic material and old infections (5D).
Researchers further found in T cell response tests in a population of uninfected individuals up to 60% Sars-Cov-2 reactivity with CD4 + T cells suggesting cross-reactions with other common cold (corona) viruses (5) . So half of these tests could possibly be 'false positive'. We are aware that there are also 'false negative' cases. (6).
At the onset of symptoms, RT-PCR tests show up to 38% 'false negative', this drops to 20% and from day 9 they rise back to 66% at 21 days after infection (6). Mass testing therefore makes little or no sense, especially if these are used to make projections, as is now the case every day and on which the measures are always based.
Clinical testing of symptoms is also inconclusive, Sciensano's protocol allows doctors to report 'negative cases' as 'positive' if they notice clinical reasons for this. Massive testing and tracing therefore appears to be inefficient and we therefore argue that this measure should not be further linked to 'quarantine' and other measures.
Let's return confidence to the population who can assess whether they have run a risk. Give the doctor the place he / she deserves. If the anamnesis (stay in risk area, contact with a known Covid-19 infected person, ...) indicates a risk and / or possible symptomatology, it is up to the doctor and patient to work out a personal strategy.
Mouth masks and over-hygiene
Besides the fact that there is still no evidence about the usefulness of face masks in the open air, this is massively encouraged. It is plausible that this can contribute when social distancing cannot be guaranteed, although the latter is also a precursor without much scientific basis.
For more than eight months, our society is subject to strict hygiene rules. For years we have been trying to sensitize the health care sector to abandon overhygienic measures, as research shows that these have a detrimental effect on our immunity (7,8,9,10,11). Physiologically we need contact with pathogens to keep the adaptive immune system active.
For several weeks now, the mouth mask obligation has also been introduced. We are in danger of drifting towards possibly a greater susceptibility to all kinds of pathogens. The collateral damage from increases in allergies, myocardiopathies, and higher susceptibility to influenza and corona strains is likely to cause more damage.
Influenza will reappear in the autumn (in combination with Sars-Cov-2) and a possible decrease in natural resilience could lead to even more victims. Research shows that low- and middle-income countries where hygiene standards are precarious also have less mortality for Sars-Cov-2. Cross immunity thus appears to contribute to resilience (21).
With our approach, a higher excess mortality can therefore be expected in the autumn. Group immunity seems difficult to acquire, but our T cells are able to arm us as 'recognizers', if we are allowed to come into contact with them.
The current approach could contribute to locking ourselves as a society in lockdowns and extra measures to maintain 'control'. A vicious circle that we are never in danger of getting out of. What is the logic behind this?
The vaccine as the ultimate exit strategy
We have decades of experience with influenza vaccination, but overview studies show that in ten years time we have only succeeded three times in developing a vaccine that achieved an efficiency of more than 50% (20C). Furthermore, a 2016 Cochrane review found that there is no evidence whatsoever that vaccination of healthcare providers is of any use to prevent transmission (22). The vaccination of our elderly also appears to be inefficient. Over 55 years of age, seroprevalence rarely exceeds 50%. Above 75 years of age the efficiency is almost non-existent (12,13).
The mutation rate for Sars-Cov-2 is not yet well known, so a vaccine could possibly contribute. Although the seroprevalence in the elderly may already be questioned on the basis of the previously cited Influenza research. We also wonder about the speed with which this new vaccine would come onto the market. It is impossible to estimate the medium and long-term efficacy and side effects (22B, 22C). In defense of the current measures, the principle of caution is put forward, why not with this vaccine?
The Oxford study, recently reported in the media, has been cited as a very positive step forward. When reading it, it is noticeable that it was performed on a healthy population in the age category 18 to 55 years. More than 50% of the test group showed side effects. The vaccination efficiency appeared to be good, however this was only followed up to 3 months after administration (13B). We now know that when Sars-Cov-2 is transmitted, the antibodies largely disappear after six months. So it remains to be seen what a possible vaccine will contribute. Why do we put all the eggs in that basket?
Towards a reverse lockdown
The narrative with which the pandemic was initially approached is clearly out of proportion to what we know today. Why is this narrative maintained? We call on the experts and policymakers to place the measures in the current and broad scientific context. Provided that information is transparent and correct, the citizen will show understanding for the advancing insight and as such will find new motivation to follow adequate measures.
The collateral damage on a socio-economic and bio-psychosocial level will lead to an increase in depression, anxiety, suicides, domestic violence and, as we recently read in the press, also child abuse. A cost-benefit-impact analysis by three Belgian independent researchers already pointed this out in May, based on data from the first lockdown (23).
The maligned Sweden has now shown that we can limit this damage. Their mortality rate of 5.776 out of 82.852 tests scores in any case better than Belgium and this without mandatory use of mouth mask and over-hygienic measures. The Swedish data is perfectly comparable with Belgium: about the same number of inhabitants, comparable number of inhabitants in the major cities (98% of Sweden is uninhabited). We also differ little in terms of socio-demography, degree of urbanization and medical care (23).
Sars-Cov-2 will not disappear and will become one of so many pathogens that will continue to be part of our lives. We must therefore ensure that our society can return to the 'old normal' again, especially now that the data show that our measures are disproportionate.
We propose to evolve towards a reverse lockdown in which at-risk patients can work out a strategy together with their doctor around taking the necessary individual measures for self-protection.
Preventive health promotion can help to keep the entire population permanently informed about the dangers they pose as a vector to the weaker members of society. This would also contribute to a decrease in mortality from seasonal flu, for which we have not yet taken any measures and saw a peak in the residential care centers every fall / spring, without these individuals being tested.
An example could be if influenza circulates in the family that we as a population wear a mouth mask on our own initiative when we visit. A study The Lancet also notes that there is little to no risk in school-age youth with regard to transmission, moreover the large proportion is not infectious (25). Confronting children with this current policy undermines their psychological well-being, which may have an impact on their further socio-psychological life. This cannot be reconciled with a health policy and the impact here will also be considerable on future expenditure in health care.
In short, protect those who need it, let the rest of the population move freely so that the disease can spread naturally. It will eventually weaken the virus (13B).
With our country, let us set an example for the rest of the world and question ourselves, evolve towards a scientific-critical analysis without taboos and dare to opt for a reverse lockdown. There is no zero risk, let's live together with Sars-Cov-2 in a healthy way.
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