Project Fear and the tyranny of the incompetents

Published in Expansión

The underlying cause of this claustrophobic, sad and ruined Spain is not the Covid itself but rather the tyranny of the incompetents, their ineptitude, their deceptions and their indifference to the suffering of others. Do not link these dictatorial measures, typical of a state of war, with the epidemiological reality, because this typically communist nightmare of bans and police controls is supported neither by science nor by the evolution of the epidemic. What sinister mass experiment in population control is this that seeks to keep us depressed and frightened? Project Fear’s puppets invent new tyrant’s whims like the limits of where and with whom to celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas. The rule of six or ten, chosen absolutely at the roll of a dice, “has no scientific evidence to back it up,” according to the CEBM at Oxford University[1], and so happens with most measures. Does an epidemic, used as an alibi, allow for everything? Are there no limits for those in power? Do we lack inalienable rights that no politician can take away from us, or are we under their whimsical will even within the sanctum of our own home? Where do individual freedom and responsibility lie, where the rule of law, where its custodian, the Constitutional Court, still failing to rule (eight months later!) on the legality of a now seemingly permanent State of Emergency that violates the constitutional fundamental rights of the entire population for the first time in decades? Its scandalous silence certifies its uselessness as a bulwark of the rule of law and justifies those who see it as a mere appendage of Congress. The non-opposition parties remain comfortably silent and civil society is limited to bleating in disgust under the dominion of the new neo-Nazi inquisition, which is dedicated to sewing the word “denier” (what impudence!) in yellow on the lapels of those who simply look at the numbers. Meanwhile, the media terrorize the population by advertising statistically insignificant cases: first, the very few severe cases in young and healthy adults; then, the alleged cases of Kawasaki in young children (today “disappeared”); and now, the infrequent sequelae lasting more than 12 weeks (2% of cases[2], according to one estimate), generally mild[3] (some, indistinguishable from somatization, sequelae from other diseases or prolonged ICU stays), and of which there is hardly documented evidence after 10 months of epidemic and 760 million people probably infected in the world, according to the WHO[4] (which would imply, by the way, an IFR fatality rate of 0.2%, twice that of seasonal flu). The media are yet to focus on the very few cases of re-infection, although they will probably tiptoe around this issue so as not to spoil the promising business of (very dubious) vaccines.

The propaganda insists on the “official” number of detected cases, a variable that barely offers information (as confirmed by the serological surveys, which are in turn limited), which depends on how many tests are performed and which does not distinguish asymptomatic or mild cases from serious ones. In addition, we know since April[5] that “the fact that the PCR test is positive does not necessarily imply that the person is contagious”[6], since it can confuse inert viral matter with active infection[7] by amplifying the virus genetic footprint. In the United States up to 90% of people would have tested positive with hardly any viral load, which means that nine out of ten people would have been unnecessarily isolated[8]. Most of the PCR used in Europe perform up to 35 or 40 cycles of amplification, whereas from a cycle threshold (Ct) of 35, 97% of the positives have a negative viral culture[9]. Even more seriously, a recent expert review sent to Eurosurveillance (ECDC publication) has identified “worrying errors and inherent fallacies that make the PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 useless[10]“. Please re-read this sentence.

The number of hospitalizations is a more relevant metric, but depend on subjective criteria of hospitalization based on the actual or expected level of hospital saturation. ICU admissions are more representative and a leading indicator of deaths, but the real variable to follow is the number of deaths “by” Covid, different from those who die “with” Covid but from other pathologies (according to the University of Oxford, a third of deaths assigned in summer to Covid in England died from other causes[11]). Well, using the number of deaths as the most reliable variable, the unquantified, generalized use of a “second wave” remains questionable: cities or regions that suffered huge outbreaks in April have lived through an autumn without a statistically significant increase in mortality, but not those who barely felt the epidemic in spring. In Madrid, for example, there have been 80% fewer average daily deaths from Covid in the fall than in spring as it seems to be close to herd immunity, which would explain its positive relative evolution.

The vast majority of government measures are not science but political farces that are epidemiologically inoperative. In fact, national and international data show that the virus naturally moves around at will with or without these indiscriminate policies, which are probably counterproductive. In Madrid, where 0.70% of the population dies every year, less than 0.28% of the population has died from Covid, compared to 0.29% in New York City and 0.24% in the Italian region of Lombardy. However, in the Stockholm region, where there has been neither lockdown nor mandatory face masks, only 0.12% of the population has died. Although the total mortality of Covid eludes simplistic explanations because of its multifactorial nature (prior immunity, percentage of population at risk, population density, per capita household area, vitamin D levels, race or ethnicity, climate, political decisions, health system, etc.), these data are thought-provoking.

“It is time to end this alarmism,” says a prestigious German virologist[12]. Let’s lose the superstitious fear, a true weapon of domination: SARS-CoV-2 is not a virus with superpowers, but yet another respiratory virus with which we have to live, mild for the vast majority of the population and potentially severe for a minority at risk (particularly, the elderly). Let’s fight it on the basis of scientific evidence without lockdown variants “that have failed miserably in all countries, without measures affecting children, who play a minor role in transmission, or outdoor activities, which are very low risk[13]“, in the words of a British epidemiologist. The farce of masks outdoors (where it is very difficult to become infected[14]) or in children is criticized by other experts who describe mandatory masks as a maneuver of “distraction whose unintended consequences outweigh their benefits[15]“. Knowing also that indirect transmission through contaminated surfaces is unlikely, let’s distinguish between the necessary reinforcement of hand hygiene and obsessive-compulsive scrubbing that makes you mentally sick. Let us limit the isolation, since we know since March that mild cases are not contagious 8-10 days after the beginning of the symptoms[16], and let us face the winter with serene realism: the probable rebound of Covid, especially in areas with less previous immunity, will be attenuated by a probable reduction of influenza (the international evidence after the southern winter points to a reduction of 98% in the seasonal flu[17]). Remember that in Spain there have been 25,000 flu-related deaths in the last three years[18] (with no headlines).

For us Christians, the One whose birth we commemorate at Christmas is Life that overcomes death and Light that dispels darkness. Especially this year we must cling to this hope to keep alive our inner peace and the flame of freedom that they want to take from us through fear and ignorance. Let us demand a return to normality while protecting the population at risk, the only one that needs to be protected. No more totalitarian experiments, terror and lies. We’ve had enough.

 

Fernando del Pino Calvo-Sotelo

www.fpcs.es

 

[1] Boris Johnson needs to bin the rule of six | The Spectator

[2] Attributes and predictors of Long-COVID: analysis of COVID cases and their symptoms collected by the Covid Symptoms Study App | medRxiv

[3] Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 | CDC

[4] WHO Estimates Coronavirus Infected 10% Of World’s Population (forbes.com)

[5] A Virologist Explains Why COVID-19 Coronavirus Isn’t Really Dangerously Lingering On Surfaces For Weeks (forbes.com)

[6] Guidelines for COVID-19 testing and quarantine of air travellers (europa.eu)

[7] South Korea Says Patients Who Retested Positive After Recovering Were No Longer Infectious (forbes.com)

[8] Your Coronavirus Test Is Positive. Maybe It Shouldn’t Be. – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

[9] Correlation Between 3790 Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction–Positives Samples and Positive Cell Cultures, Including 1941 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Isolates | Clinical Infectious Diseases | Oxford Academic (oup.com)

[10] Review report Corman-Drosten et al. Eurosurveillance 2020 – CORMAN-DROSTEN REVIEW REPORT

[11] Almost one third of Covid deaths in July and August ‘primarily caused by other conditions’ (telegraph.co.uk)

[12] We can beat Covid without lockdowns, says top German virologist (telegraph.co.uk)

[13] Lockdown failed. We must follow the Swedish model and learn to live with Covid (telegraph.co.uk)

[14] Masks Are a Distraction From the Pandemic Reality – WSJ

[15] Íbid

[16] People ‘shed’ coronavirus early, but most likely not infectious after recovery (statnews.com)

[17] Decreased Influenza Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, Australia, Chile, and South Africa, 2020 | MMWR (cdc.gov)

[18] Carga de enfermedad de la gripe estacional (isciii.es)

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