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Opinion Videos

Covid experts: there is another way – UnHerd

  • Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.
  • Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.
  • We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young.
  • COVID-19 is less dangerous for children than many other harms, including influenza.
  • All populations will eventually reach herd immunity.
  • Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.
  • Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19.
  • Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal.
  • Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold.
  • Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home.
  • Restaurants and other businesses should open.
  • Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume.

https://unherd.com/2020/10/covid-experts-there-is-another-way/

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Publications

Masks, false safety and real dangers, Part 1: Friable mask particulate and lung vulnerability – ResearchGate

There is no biological history of mass masking until the current era. It is important to consider possible outcomes of this society-wide experiment. The consequences to the health of individuals is as yet unknown. Masked individuals have measurably higher inspiratory flow than non-masked individuals. This study is of new masks removed from manufacturer packaging, as well as a laundered cloth mask, examined microscopically. Loose particulate was seen on each type of mask. Also, tight and loose fibers were seen on each type of mask. If every foreign particle and every fiber in every facemask is always secure and not detachable by airflow, then there should be no risk of inhalation of such particles and fibers. However, if even a small portion of mask fibers is detachable by inspiratory airflow, or if there is debris in mask manufacture or packaging or handling, then there is the possibility of not only entry of foreign material to the airways, but also entry to deep lung tissue, and potential pathological consequences of foreign bodies in the lungs.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344360277_Masks_false_safety_and_real_dangers_Part_1_Friable_mask_particulate_and_lung_vulnerability

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Opinion

This second wave of coronavirus is simply not as deadly… if we panic, so many more lives will be lost, says PROFESSOR KAROL SIKORA – Daily Mail

Britain is now in grave danger of sleepwalking into a second national lockdown. The consequences of doing so would be disastrous.

We find ourselves in this wretched position partly because the Government’s main achievement since the pandemic first emerged in China has not been suppressing the virus or saving lives or the economy, but in spreading irrational fear.

  • A blanket lockdown is the last thing we should be contemplating if we are serious about the nation’s mental and physical well-being.
  • This second wave will not trigger the explosion in deaths we saw in the spring.
  • Not a single young child has died in the UK from Covid without some other serious pre-existing condition.
  • According to Cambridge statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter, anyone under 50 is more likely to die in a car crash than from the virus.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8748883/This-second-wave-coronavirus-simply-not-deadly-says-PROFESSOR-KAROL-SIKORA.html

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News Opinion

‘Australians must know the truth – this virus is not a pandemic’: Alan Jones, Sky News Australia

Sky News host Alan Jones says he has warned time and time again the political leaders who are the architects of this coronavirus response will not be able to escape the criticism that is now finding its way into the public place. It comes as an economist in the Victorian Department of Finance and Treasury, Sanjeev Sabhlok, on Wednesday penned an article in the Australian Financial Review announcing his resignation from his position.

  • Policies are a sledgehammer to kill a swarm of flies.
  • The Spanish Flu killed killed at least 50 million out of 1.8 billion people out of worldwide.
  • To compare with Spanish Flu, COVID-19 would need to kill 210 million people. It has only killed 0.9 million.
  • 60 million people worldwide normally die each year.
  • There are strong scientific arguments against lockdown.
  • The data was clear from February that the elderly should be protected but this wasn’t done.
  • Epidemiological models have badly exaggerated the risk.
  • There was never any reason to mandate measures such as face masks.
  • COVID-19 is no worse than the Asian Flu.
  • Lockdowns cannot eradicate the virus.

https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6191311935001

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Publications

Use of “normal” risk to improve understanding of dangers of covid-19 – BMJ

Accumulating data on deaths from covid-19 show an association with age that closely matches the “normal” risk we all face. Explaining risk in this way could help people understand and manage their response, says David Spiegelhalter

As covid-19 turns from a societal threat into a matter of risk management, it is vital that the associated risks are understood and clearly communicated.1 But these risks vary hugely between people, and so finding appropriate analogues is a challenge. Although covid-19 is a complex multisystem disease that can cause prolonged illness, here I focus solely on the risks of dying from covid-19 and explore the use of “normal” risk—the risk of death from all causes each year—as an aid to transparent communication.

  • General population: the risk of catching and then dying from covid-19 during 16 weeks of the pandemic was equivalent to experiencing around 5 weeks extra “normal” risk for those over 55, decreasing steadily with age, to just 2 extra days for schoolchildren
  • Over 55 who are infected with covid-19: additional risk of dying is slightly more than the “normal” risk of death from all other causes over one year, and less for under 55s.

https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3259

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News Opinion

Children are at more risk from flu or car accidents – Dr. Jenny Harries, BBC, Sky News

According to Dr. Jenny Harries, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, the evidence shows:

  • The vast majority of children, even those deemed to be in the vulnerable category, do not have severe outcomes from COVID-19.
  • The risk child dying in a road traffic accident or from flu “is probably higher than their risk from COVID-19”.
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News

Under 40s ‘more likely to die from a road accident than coronavirus’ – Metro

People under 50 are more likely to die suddenly because of an accident or injury than from coronavirus, a leading risk expert has said. Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter said people under 25 are more likely to die from flu or pneumonia, while under 40s have a greater risk of being killed in a road accident. The Cambridge University professor looked at the average risk for different age groups dying after contracting Covid-19 and compared it with the most recent yearly data from 2018.

https://metro.co.uk/2020/06/23/40s-likely-die-road-accident-coronavirus-12893218/

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Opinion

Have the protests proved that Covid-19 risks are being vastly exaggerated? – The Spectator

By now, we ought to be seeing some evidence of increasing Covid-19 cases from the mass protests. The fact we are not raises very serious doubts about the coronavirus lockdowns and other non-pharmaceutical interventions, many of which are still ongoing.

…The third explanatory hypothesis is that we have vastly overestimated certain risks from Covid-19, limiting fundamental civil liberties of law-abiding citizens and getting it wrong. It finally took unsanctioned mass protests to prove this point.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-haven-t-we-seen-a-post-protest-covid-spike-

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News

School age children more likely to be hit by lightning than die of coronavirus, analysis finds – The Telegraph

School children under the age of 15 are more likely to be hit by lightning than die from coronavirus, new figures suggest, amid mounting pressure for the government to get more to get pupils back into classrooms as quickly as possible.

Scientists from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford have called for “rational debate” based on the “tiny” risk to children and have suggested that if no vaccine is found in the future then it may be better for younger people to continue with their lives, while shielding the more vulnerable.

It comes as the government was accused of “losing the plot” after Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, scrapped the Government’s target of getting all primary school pupils back in the classroom before the summer holidays

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Publications

Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine – NCBI

We randomized 115 children to trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) or placebo. Over the following 9 months, TIV recipients had an increased risk of virologically-confirmed non-influenza infections (relative risk: 4.40; 95% confidence interval: 1.31-14.8). Being protected against influenza, TIV recipients may lack temporary non-specific immunity that protected against other respiratory viruses.

In the prepandemic period of our study, we did not observe a statistically significant reduction in confirmed seasonal influenza virus infections in the TIV recipients (Table 3), although serological evidence (Supplementary Appendix) and point estimates of vaccine efficacy based on confirmed infections were consistent with protection of TIV recipients against the seasonal influenza viruses that circulated from January through March 2009 [16]. We identified a statistically significant increased risk of noninfluenza respiratory virus infection among TIV recipients (Table 3), including significant increases in the risk of rhinovirus and coxsackie/echovirus infection, which were most frequently detected in March 2009, immediately after the peak in seasonal influenza activity in February 2009 (Figure 1).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404712/

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News

2 babies die, dozens hospitalized after vaccination in southern Mexico – CNN

Mexican health officials are investigating after two babies died and 29 children were hospitalized from suspected adverse reactions to shots from the country’s national vaccination program.

Six of the children hospitalized in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas remain in serious condition, the Mexican Social Security Institute said on Sunday.

The illnesses were reported after 52 children from the rural mining community of La Pimienta were given vaccines Friday for tuberculosis, rotavirus and Hepatitis B, the institute said. Later that night, 31 of the children “presented adverse reactions presumably associated with the application of these vaccines,” officials said. Two of the children later died.

https://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/10/health/mexico-vaccine-deaths/index.html

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Publications

RAPID RISK ASSESSMENT Outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

About 80% of patients have mild to moderate disease (including non-pneumonia and pneumonia cases), 13.8% have severe disease and 6.1% are critical (respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure). Individuals at highest risk for severe disease and death are people aged over 60 years of age and those with underlying conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer. Disease in children appears to be relatively rare and mild. About 2.4% of the total reported cases were individuals under 19 years of age. A very small proportion of those aged under 19 years have developed severe (2.5%) or critical disease (0.2%).

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/RRA-outbreak-novel-coronavirus-disease-2019-increase-transmission-globally-COVID-19.pdf

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Publications

Population-level COVID-19 mortality risk for non-elderly individuals overall and for non-elderly individuals without underlying diseases in pandemic epicenters – medRxiv

 CONCLUSIONS: People <65 years old have very small risks of COVID-19 death even in pandemic epicenters and deaths for people <65 years without underlying predisposing conditions are remarkably uncommon. Strategies focusing specifically on protecting high-risk elderly individuals should be considered in managing the pandemic.

COVID-19 is largely harmless to the general population under 65 with no pre-existing conditions, who are more likely to die in a road accident.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.05.20054361v2