HomeCOVID-19: A Pretext For Authoritarianism

It is disheartening to see the degree of corruption and manipulation* that our government has reached.

We live in a crisis. A crisis of propaganda and disinformation manufactured by the media and our corrupt self-serving politicians that is being used to lead our country toward authoritarianism.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, our media deployed its vicious tactics against the people by obscuring the science, omitting the truth and spreading fear, paving the way for our corrupt politicians to advance their Orwellian agendas and destroy our main street economy.

COVID19 is a new strain of known common cold viruses[1], the Coronaviruses. New strains of cold viruses[2] [3]and other types of viruses are regularly studied and tracked by different health organizations including WHO and the CDC to assess the need for intervention without any special attention[4] from the media for a valid reason; there is no rational cause to be worried.

      “Although the majority of infections with the four endemic CoVs only cause mild respiratory diseases, all HCoVs can also induce severe illnesses. This particularly affects risk groups such as immunosuppressed patients, patients with previous pulmonary disease and infants, but rarely also patients without a specific risk profile”[5]

So, what is the situation here? Why are we worried about this specific strain of coronaviruses but not the others? Is there scientific evidence that causes this concern?

Those questions are not being answered with science, but with politics and propaganda.

 

If we look at the argument of mutation: science refutes it by explaining that viruses’ mutation is regularly seen, studied and tracked. Therefore, the COVID-19 is not unique in that aspect.

And if we look at the fear of spreading, we will see that it depends on presuming that it has more severity than the other corona and flu viruses that circulate continuously without special concerns. Additionally, the hospitalization rate[6], which is related reproduction rate is usually lower in the spring and the summer.

And when we look at the severity argument we see claims that it has higher mortality rates than the regular common cold viruses by up to 40 times higher, while a close look at these numbers shows that media and politicians, unrealistically & illogically, are regarding the ‘Case Fatality rate’ as the same as the ‘Estimated Death Rate’. The ‘Case Fatality Rate ‘ is a false indicator of the risks of the disease. The CFR uses the methodology of ‘Induction’ that has limitations discussed in science and the philosophy of science. For that reason, health organizations, including the CDC, use another indicator that reflects the realistic risks of the disease; the ‘Estimated Death Rate’

The flu CFR (I&P) according to the CDC ranges between 7% to 10% [7]without causing any special interest or public panic[8]. The CFR of the Corona by itself is between 0.4% (Germany) and 10% (Italy), the average between countries is 3.8%. Therefore, it has lower[9] or arguably similar CFR to the seasonal flu.

 

        “The mortality rate is the number of deceased cases as a proportion of the number of  (actual) diseased cases. There are no reliable data on this because the actual number of sick people is unknown and may be significantly higher than the number of reported cases (see “Actual number of sick people”). If the number of sick cases is actually underestimated by a factor of 4.5–11.1 (see “Actual number of sick people”), this would probably affect the number of (mildly) sick people who would not be covered by the monitoring system. This would also reduce the lethality (closer to reality) by a similar factor”.[10]

The CFR produces higher and unrealistic rates[11]. For that reason, you could see the realistic death numbers of the regular flu are measured by the EDR which is 0.1% for the seasonal flu and estimated to be 0.04% – 0.12% for the COVID-19 in the epicenter Wuhan, China[12].

Consequently, it appears that the mortality risk of the flu could be as much as twice higher than COVID-19. Hence, there is no rational and logical justification that can be made to be concerned about the risk of a disease that does not even come near to what we have no special attention to, let alone lower.

The second argument of severity is the rapid spread. As I mentioned above, coronaviruses are widely spread[13], and almost all people have had one or more of the coronaviruses that could cause the common cold. And,

 

    “Almost all people are infected with these CoV variants in the course of their lives. Because of only temporary immunity, reinfections of the same type are also common. In addition to the typical clinical picture of an ARE, the endemic CoV can in rare cases also cause serious diseases of the lower respiratory tract such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with pre-existing cardiopulmonary or malignancies, immunosuppression, and infants and older adults.”[14]

 

Our media and government have been obscuring science[15] and omitting these facts, spread fear and distress [16] based on unrealistic[17] worst-case scenario predictions[18][19] and allowed internet giants to censor dissidents’ voices under the pretext of fighting fake news.

 

Worse than all of that is the draconian and unwise[20] measures that are attacking our civil liberties, destroying the livelihood of the bottom 50% of the people[21] and diminishing family and small businesses and concentrating more wealth and power for the 1%.

 

I believe that we need to:

  1. Limit ‘self-shelter’ and ‘social distancing’ protocols to the known vulnerable demographics[22] in highly infected and condensed areas and make it voluntary.
  2. Encourage the demographics that has no serious risks, to resume work and outdoor activities as normal.
  3. Provide paid sick leaves for every infected person up to 3 weeks from diagnosis or until 2 weeks after the disappearance of the symptoms.
  4. Prepare temporary ICUs and beds to raise the current capacity to match the estimated need.
  5. Direct funds to closely monitor, study and assess the spread of the virus.
  6. Urge states and local government to continue encouraging citizens to follow hygiene and sanitization’s instructions.
  7. Continue the halt on foreclosures and evictions.

 

References: 

  • For using only part of the truth about the virus, and omitting other scientific facts.

[1] Human coronaviruses common cold widely spread 2007

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17944272?dopt=Abstract

[2] HCoV-NL63 was detected in patients suffering from respiratory disease, with a frequency of up to 7% in January 2003. https://www.nature.com/articles/nm1024#Sec7

[3] New Human Corona Virus 2005 HKU1 https://jvi.asm.org/content/79/2/884.short#sec-12

[4] “To what extent these secondary infections can be attributed to intensive care treatment and ventilation or pose a specific fundamental risk of CoV infection is not yet understood”. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7079972/

[5] “Our early estimates suggest that the CFR of COVID-19 is lower than the previous coronavirus epidemics caused by SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)” Early estimation of the case fatality rate of COVID-19 in mainland China

[6] Proportion of hospitalized among the sick  “This percentage usually gives an impression of the percentage of patients who have had a course that is severe enough to initiate inpatient treatment. In both China and probably most other countries, however, this proportion is distorted due to the fact that laboratory-confirmed or suspected cases have been taken to hospital for isolation and not because of their severe outcome. Therefore, this proportion cannot currently be calculated. Other indicators must, therefore, be used to assess the frequency of severe courses”.

[7] The CFR with regards to the flu sometimes is called the ‘I&F mortality rate’ for the intimate relation and the difficulty of diagnostic differentiation between direct and secondary causes of the death of cold and flu viruses. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/#S2

[8]”Since Italy’s case fatality rate of 8% is estimated using the confirmed cases, the real fatality rate could in fact be closer to 0.06%”.  Stanford ProfessorsDr. Eran Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, 

[9] “If our surmise of six million cases is accurate, that’s a mortality rate of 0.01%, assuming a two week lag between infection and death. This is one-tenth of the flu mortality rate of 0.1%. Such a low death rate would be cause for optimism”.Stanford ProfessorsDr. Eran Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya

[10] Robert Kock Institute in Germany,

[11] “This translates to a current crude CFR of 2.6%. However, the total number of COVID-19 cases is likely higher due to inherent difficulties in identifying and counting mild and asymptomatic cases. Furthermore, the still-insufficient testing capacity for COVID-19 in China means that many suspected and clinically diagnosed cases are not yet counted in the denominator.2 This uncertainty in the CFR may be reflected by the important difference between the CFR in Hubei (2.9%) compared with outside Hubei (0.4%)”. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2762130

[12] “We also found that most recent crude infection fatality ratio (IFR) and time-delay adjusted IFR is estimated to be 0.04% (95% CrI: 0.03-0.06%) and 0.12% (95%CrI: 0.08-0.17%), which is several orders of magnitude smaller than the crude CFR estimated at 4.19%”  https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.12.20022434v2

[13] “which correlates with the fact that human coronaviruses tend to be transmitted predominantly in the winter season12.” https://www.nature.com/articles/nm1024#Sec7

[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7079972/

[15].https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/24/12-experts-questioning-the-coronavirus-panic/

[16] “As concerns over the perceived threat grow, stress, panic, sleep disturbances will be experienced, and a wide array of DSM-5 diagnoses will be swiftly applied”.  https://www.medpagetoday.com/blogs/suicide-watch/85484

[17] “The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable”. reliable data?

[18] “He now says both that the U.K. should have enough ICU beds and that the coronavirus will probably kill under 20,000 people in the U.K. more than 1/2 of whom would have died by the end of the year in any case [because] they were so old and sick,” he wrote. Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson

[19] “The terrifying model shows that as many as 2.2 million Americans could perish from the virus if no action is taken, peaking in June. However, that model is likely highly flawed, Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta argues“.

[20] “The challenge is compounded, however, by exaggerated information. This can lead to inappropriate actions. It is important to differentiate promptly the true epidemic from an epidemic of false claims and potentially harmful actions”. John P.A. Ioannidis Departments of Medicine, of Epidemiology and Population Health, of Biomedical Data Science, and of Statistics, Stanford University https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/eci.13222

[21] Economic Shutdown

[22] “This powerful interaction of demography and current age-specific mortality for COVID-19 suggests that social distancing and other policies to slow transmission should consider both the age composition of local and national contexts as well as the social connectedness of older and younger generations”.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.15.20036293v1

Additional reading: https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

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