“Intensive care units are getting empty, the wards are getting empty, we are really seeing a decrease — and that despite that people are really loosening up. The beaches are crowded, social distancing is not kept very well … but still the numbers are really decreasing. That means that something else is happening – we are actually getting closer to herd immunity. I can’t really see another reason.”
“I can’t say if the Swedish approach was right or wrong – I think we can say that in one or two years when we are looking back. You have to look at the mortality over the whole period.”
“I don’t think that we have more new cases, I think we are just detecting more cases”
“We found that if you have a mild case you can be negative for antibodies afterwards … in those almost all of them had strong T-cell activity. This study says that there are cases that you can have a strong T-cell response even though you have not had antibodies, meaning that you have encountered the virus and built up immunity.”
“[R]oughly twice as many people have developed T-cell immunity compared with those who we can detect antibodies in.“
SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells will likely prove critical for long-term immune protection against COVID-19. We systematically mapped the functional and phenotypic landscape of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses in a large cohort of unexposed individuals as well as exposed family members and individuals with acute or convalescent COVID-19. Acute phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells displayed a highly activated cytotoxic phenotype that correlated with various clinical markers of disease severity, whereas convalescent phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were polyfunctional and displayed a stem-like memory phenotype. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detectable in antibody-seronegative family members and individuals with a history of asymptomatic or mild COVID-19. Our collective dataset shows that SARS-CoV-2 elicits robust memory T cell responses akin to those observed in the context of successful vaccines, suggesting that natural exposure or infection may prevent recurrent episodes of severe COVID-19 also in seronegative individuals.
- We have already developed herd immunity to COVID-19 and will continue to manage it through herd immunity.
- Flu is much more dangerous than COVID-19.
- COVID-19 will settle into an endemic state just like flu.
- Hopefully vaccines will be important in protecting the vulnerable.
- Another way to protect the vulnerable sector is to allow the population to develop natural immunity.
- There’s no reason to think the virus will mutate into a lower level of virulence.
- During the 1918 flu because of a large number of ‘immunologically naive’ individuals but this is not the case with COVID-19.
- Most of us have some degree of coronavirus immunity and therefore some protection to COVID-19.
- The current H1 influenza strain is antigenically identical to the 1918 flu. H1 flu doesn’t kill as many people as the 1918 flu because most people already have cross immunity.
Antibody tests on random samples of the population have so far shown much lower levels of general infection than the government’s scientific advisers claimed would be necessary to attain ‘herd immunity’. In London, for example, tests have shown that 17 per cent of the population have antibodies to Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. In New York, the figure is 21 per cent. At the beginning of this crisis, on the other hand, Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, suggested that at least 60 per cent of the population would have to be infected in order to achieve herd immunity.
Naturally acquired herd immunity to COVID-19 combined with earnest protection of the vulnerable elderly – especially nursing home and assisted living facility residents — is an eminently reasonable and practical alternative to the dubious panacea of mass compulsory vaccination against the virus.
This strategy was successfully implemented in Malmo, Sweden, which had few COVID-19 deaths by assiduously protecting its elder care homes, while “schools remained open, residents carried on drinking in bars and cafes, and the doors of hairdressers and gyms were open throughout.
Stockholm is the best population to test Covid theory whereby it was hit hard early and did not have lockdowns. Nobel Prize winner Dr Michael Levitt postulated that the virus burns out when it has infected 15-20% of the population. According to this, he’s right.
So what does this mean? Lockdowns were a waste of time and resources. Minimizing deaths just delays the inevitable. Those countries which were not hit are most likely to see continued spikes and outbreaks. Maybe less during the summer but a second wave later this year.
Up to 81% of of the population can mount a strong response to COVID-19 without ever having been exposed to it before:
Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes revealed preexisting T-cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals, and validation of similarity to common cold human coronaviruses provided a functional basis for postulated heterologous immunity
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic calls for the rapid development of diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic approaches. CD4+ and CD8+ T cell-mediated immunity is central for control of and protection from viral infections[1-3]. A prerequisite to characterize T-cell immunity, but also for the development of vaccines and immunotherapies, is the identification of the exact viral T-cell epitopes presented on human leukocyte antigens (HLA)[2-8]. This is the first work identifying and characterizing SARS-CoV-2-specific and cross-reactive HLA class I and HLA-DR T-cell epitopes in SARS-CoV-2 convalescents (n = 180) as well as unexposed individuals (n = 185) and confirming their relevance for immunity and COVID-19 disease course. SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell epitopes enabled detection of post-infectious T-cell immunity, even in seronegative convalescents. Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes revealed preexisting T-cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals, and validation of similarity to common cold human coronaviruses provided a functional basis for postulated heterologous immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infection[10,11]. Intensity of T-cell responses and recognition rate of T-cell epitopes was significantly higher in the convalescent donors compared to unexposed individuals, suggesting that not only expansion, but also diversity spread of SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses occur upon active infection. Whereas anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels were associated with severity of symptoms in our SARS-CoV-2 donors, intensity of T-cell responses did not negatively affect COVID-19 severity. Rather, diversity of SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses was increased in case of mild symptoms of COVID-19, providing evidence that development of immunity requires recognition of multiple SARS-CoV-2 epitopes. Together, the specific and cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell epitopes identified in this work enable the identification of heterologous and post-infectious T-cell immunity and facilitate the development of diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic measures for COVID-19.
All through the Covid-19 pandemic we have been hampered by a lack of data on just how many people have had the disease. Given that several studies have indicated that as many as 80 per cent of people who are infected show no symptoms whatsoever, it is extremely difficult to estimate this crucial figure – which determines the mortality rate of Covid-19 and also how far away we might be from achieving a position of herd immunity.
Today, however, comes some very substantial data. The Medical Research Council’s Biostatistics Unit has published estimates of infections derived from serological studies on samples collected from the NHS Blood Transfusion Service.
One of the key things about science – obvious to its practitioners, but often obscure to outsiders – is that it is fuelled by doubt, not certainty. When the ‘facts’ change (as they often do), and when original assumptions are qualified or overturned, then any scientist worth their salt re-examines and, if necessary, alters their conclusions. The presence of cross-reactive helper cells in maybe half the population means that ideas about a possible second wave must be rewritten. This finding must make a second wave less likely, probably much less likely. And the fact that there has been no ‘second wave’ (as opposed to isolated outbreaks) anywhere where lockdown has been released also fits this hypothesis. It may well also explain why the first wave didn’t infect much higher proportions of the population.
James talks with Professor Dolores Cahill, a world renowned immunologist who has advised the Irish government and the EU.
- We should end the lockdown. Quarantining healthy people was a huge mistake, should never have been done and should never happen again.
- All the available information tells us there’s no longer any basis for the lockdowns. The economic harm and resulting health effects could be five times higher than those caused by the virus. The adverse health implications of poverty is well-known and has lots of supporting data.
- The immunology community knew in January and February that there was nothing very special about COVID-19.
- There are lots of clinical trials showing the usefulness of vitamins C, D and Zinc for preventing symptoms of corona-type viruses.
- It is also very well established that hydroxychloroquine, which is a very safe drug, can be used as a treatment.
- There was no need to ramp up the hospital care system because there were established methods for prevention and treatment.
- It was known that the virus would circulate the world in a month. Professor Cahill was surprised at the lockdown because the ‘virus was gone.’ There is clearly enough data for this.
- COVID-19 (also known as SARS-CoV-2) is about 80% the same as SARS-CoV-1 in 2003. These types of viruses last about 6 weeks in each location before naturally ‘dying off’ as people become exposed and then developing immunity.
- 80 out of 100 people would have developed antibodies within 10-11 days and become immune for life without experiencing symptoms.
- Although COVID-19 is a novel virus, it can be ‘recognized’ by the immune system of anyone who had already been exposed to SARS-CoV-1. This is because of COVID-19’s 80% similarity to the earlier 2003 virus.
- With these types of viruses, you will be negative for the PCR test (which tests for the presence of the virus) after recovery but you will test positive for the antibodies.
- You don’t need the lockdown if you boost your immune system. in fact, the lockdown made matters worse by depressing people’s immune system. Sunshine, interacting with people, shaking hands–all these help to boost your immune system.
- Elderly people should be taking vitamin C, D and Zinc to protect their immune systems. People with underlying conditions, or those who develop symptoms, should contact their doctor to consider prescribing off-label hydroxychloroquine.
- Symptoms: flu-like for the first five days. If it gets worse and you develop a cough, that’s when you need to ring your doctor for treatment. Treatment includes hydroxychloroquine for 3-5 days, with Zinc and AZT antibiotic. This is an established protocol that has been used in many clinical trials in 2020.
- There was some reason to be scared of COVID-19 during the very early stages (around January) because because we didn’t know anything about it. However, the media and WHO was fearmongering when they used Wuhan as an example of what would happen everywhere.
- From February onward, the immunology community recognized that COVID-19 is the same as a normal virus in most parts of the world. There was something different about Wuhan, Bergamo and New York but t here was no reason to lockdown the rest of the world.
- Vaccines have their place and can be safe. However, studies show that animal and human subjects that were given a type of influenza vaccine later reacted badly when they encountered a coronavirus ‘in the wild’. The reaction caused a cytokine storm that either killed the subject or made the subject very ill. The reaction between different types of vaccinated and wild viruses is called viral interference.
- People in Wuhan and Bergamo were given a certain type of influenza vaccine. It became apparent around April-May that the high death rates in both cities could be due to viral interference from the administered influenza vaccine.
- It has not been possible to make a safe and effective vaccine for the SARS-CoV-1 in 2003. If we have not been able to make a vaccine for this coronavirus, we should not expect a safe vaccine for COVID-19 any time soon. A vaccine developed for COVID-19 would be a complete experiment on those who take it.
- Vaccines containing alluminium, Thimerodal or mercury are intrinsically unsafe.
- The global death rate for COVID-19 is around the same as a bad influenza. Outside of Wuhan, Bergamo and New York, the death rate appears to be less than the normal flu.
- Current data shows that the real death rate for COVID-19 is 20 or 30 times less than the initial estimates from the WHO. We now know the death rate is about one in a thousand for the vulnerable and one in five thousand for the healthy. In the under 70s age range, this is lower than the average flu.
- It was well-known in February that there was no need for the lockdowns.
- There have been no cases of transmission from children.
- If we were to end the lockdown, we would need 10 days to prepare. This is because people have not been out and exposed to sunlight. Preparation include taking vitamins C, D and Zinc; getting fresh air; avoiding stress; and making sure doctors have hydroxychloroquine.
- It is almost as if the current advice is geared to making sure people get sick in order to support more lockdowns.
- There will be no second spike if people take the above precautions to strengthen their immune system.
- A recent study shows that people who continued working were healthy. Engaging with other keeps you healthy by strengthening the immune system.
- There hasn’t been an open debate in any country about the harm versus benefits of the lockdown. This may be a big reason for why the lockdowns are continuing.
- Dr. Rashid A. Buttar and Dr. Judy Mikovits are trying to open the debate about prevention and treatments but their voices are being censored.
- The use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment has been politicized.
- Evidence is being cherry-picked in order reach a predetermined goal: a money-making vaccine. The existing prevention and treatment methods don’t make money for big-pharma.
- Masks and social distancing is appropriate for something like ebola but not for coronaviruses.
- We will build up herd immunity within about two weeks.
- We know how COVID-19 is transmitted because it belongs to the family of coronaviruses. It is not transmitted through the air. This has been proven because groups of people in encloses spaces (for example, plane-loads of fruit-pickers) did not all come down with the sickness.
- The two meter rule is unnecessary.
- There was enough information from many sources for the government and their advisors to know that all these measures are wrong. There should be legal implications for those who advocate continued lockdown. Hundreds of unnecessary deaths should be grounds for a legal tribunal.
- There is a high risk of a death spike after lockdown due to other causes, such as cancers, that will attributed to COVID-19. This will be used to support more lockdowns.
- The politicians, broadcasters, newspaper editors, ministers for health–everyone complicit in censoring and withholding information from the public about the true nature of COVID-19 needs to be held personally liable for the deaths caused.
“It’s becoming clear that a lot of people have been exposed to the virus and that the death rate in people under 65 is not something you would lock down the economy for,” she says. “We can’t just think about those who are vulnerable to the disease. We have to think about those who are vulnerable to lockdown too. The costs of lockdown are too high at this point.”
Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection is common and can be detected by analysis of saliva or NTS. NTS viral loads fall faster in asymptomatic individuals, but they appear able to transmit the virus to others.
Professor Karl Friston is a computer modelling expert, world-renowned for his contributions to neuroscience. He has been applying his “dynamic causal modelling” approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, and has reached some startling results.
– The differences between countries are not primarily down to government actions, but due to ‘intrinsic’ differences in the populations
– We don’t yet fully understand what is driving it, although there are theories ranging from levels of vitamin D to genetic differences
– In each country, there appears to be a portion of the population that is ‘not even in the game’ – that is, not susceptible to Covid-19. This varies hugely between countries
– In the UK, Professor Friston estimates that portion to be at least 50%, and probably more like 80%
– The similar mortality results between Sweden (no lockdown) and the UK (lockdown) are best explained by the fact that in reality there was no difference
– the impact of the legal lockdown in Professor Friston’s models “literally goes away”.
We searched the literature for estimates of individual variation in propensity to acquire or transmit COVID-19 or other infectious diseases and overlaid the findings as vertical lines in Figure 3. Most CV estimates are comprised between 2 and 4, a range where naturally acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may place populations over the herd immunity threshold once as few as 10-20% of its individuals are immune.
[I]f you believe herd immunity is only reached at 60 per cent, you should be terrified at any loosening of lockdown. If you don’t, then you must reconcile antibody testing that says 80 per cent are still susceptible with the difficulty the virus seems to encounter in marching very far past 20 percent of the population.
That is the reconciliation my hypothesis achieves. I propose that there may exist forms of human resistance to this virus that don’t show up in Covid-19 antibody tests.
[I]n focusing on that Covid antibody test alone as indicating a pass-or-fail immunity, we could be overlooking important ways in which humans may be endowed with, or acquire, other kinds of resistance.
- Professor Karol Sikora says that COVID-19 behaves like pandemics in the past.
- Society is scarred all over the world.
- The virus will go but the fear will do the damage.
Note: YouTube has taken down the video. Please go directly to UnHerd’s site:
Professor Karol Sikora has become something of a celebrity in the UK over the past months for his expert commentary on the pandemic, and his unusual tendency for optimism rather than pessimism.
Virus ‘getting tired’
– In the past two weeks, the virus is showing signs of petering out
– It’s as though the virus is ‘getting tired’, almost ‘getting bored’
– It’s happening across the world at the same time
Existing herd immunity
– The serology results around the world (and forthcoming in Britain) don’t necessarily reveal the percentage of people who have had the disease
– He estimates 25-30% of the UK population has had Covid-19, and higher in the group that is most susceptible
– Pockets of herd immunity help *already* explain the downturn
– Sweden’s end result will not be different to ours – lockdown versus no lockdown
Fear more deadly than the virus
– When the history books are written, the fear will have killed many more people than the virus, including large numbers of cancer and cardiological patients not being treated
– We should have got the machinery of the NHS for non-corona patients back open earlier
Masks and schools
– Evidence on masks is just not there either way so it should be an ‘individual decision’
– We should move to 1m social distancing which means restaurants and bars could reopen
– More schools should reopen in June as ‘children are not the transmitters of this virus’
– We should be getting back to the ‘old normal’ not a ‘new normal’
If Sweden stops at about 5,000 or 6,000 deaths, we will know that they’ve reached herd immunity, and we didn’t need to do any kind of lockdown. My own feeling is that it will probably stop because of herd immunity. COVID is serious, it’s at least a serious flu. But it’s not going to destroy humanity as people thought.
Freddie Sayers talks to Professor Hendrik Streeck about why he thinks lockdown measures were initiated too quickly, and how his findings show a Covid-19 fatality rate of 0.24-0.36%. The deadliness of Covid-19, measured by the “Infected Fatality Rate” or what percentage of infected people end up dying, has become an issue of global significance.
- COVID-19 is less deadly than initially thought
- Fatality rate between 0.24-0.36%
- Transmission between families seems low
- Enclosed spaces with large gatherings seems to spread the virus
- Waiting for a vaccine seems unrealistic
- We will not be able to eradicate COVID-19 without a vaccine but there has not been any successful vaccine against any coronovirus
- COVID-19 will be like any coronavirus
- We may be able to manage the virus with basic hygiene