Swiss Policy Research Center released their June meta-analysis update on COVID-19. Here are some of the highlights that I found most interesting:
On COVID-19 lethality:
Due to its rather low lethality, Covid-19 falls at most into level 2 of the five-level pandemic plan developed by the US health authorities. For this level, only the “voluntary isolation of sick people” is to be applied, while further measures such as face masks, school closings, distance rules, contact tracing, vaccinations and lockdowns of entire societies are not recommended.
Regarding contact tracing, a WHO study on influenza pandemics from 2019 also came to the conclusion that from a medical point of view this is “under no circumstances recommended”, since it is not expedient for easily communicable and generally mild respiratory diseases.
The role of nursing homes:
In the United States, at least 42% of all Covid19 deaths are accounted for by 0.6% of the population living in nursing homes. Nursing homes require targeted protection and do not benefit from a general lockdown of society as a whole.
On children and schools:
Numerous studies have now shown that children hardly get Covid19 and do not or hardly transmit the virus, which was already known from the 2003 SARS outbreak. There was therefore no medical reason for the closure of schools at any time.
On the effectiveness of masks:
Regardless of the comparatively low lethality of Covid19 in the general population (see above), there is still no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of masks in healthy and asymptomatic people in everyday life.
Two US professors and experts in respiratory and infection protection from the University of Illinois explain in an essay that respiratory masks have no effect in everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties (so-called source control). The widespread use of masks didn’t prevent the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, either.
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2020 also comes to the conclusion that respiratory masks offer little or no protection in everyday life. The call for a mask requirement is described as an “irrational fear reflex”.
A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the U.S. CDC also found that respirators had no effect.
Vaccines against COVID-19:
However, many experts have pointed out that an express vaccine against the new coronavirus is not necessary or useful due to the overall low lethality (see above) and the already declining spread. The protection of risk groups, especially in nursing homes, could be much more targeted.
Some experts like the Swiss infectiologist Dr. Pietro Vernazza also pointed out that experience shows that the high-risk group in particular benefits the least from vaccination, since their immune system no longer reacts adequately to the vaccine.
Various experts have also pointed out the significant health risks of an express vaccine. In fact, vaccination against the so-called “swine flu” from 2009/2010, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage, particularly in children, and to claims for damages in the millions.