Recommendations for 2021 to successfully fight the pandemic in Germany and in Europe, starting NOW!
First of all, we wish all our readers a Happy and Healthy New Year!
The urgence of the pandemic is bringing us back to our blog a week early. The situation is serious and is warranting a strategy adjustment.
There is no more wiggle room. There is no more time for compromises, for sales talk, for manipulation, for negotiations.
These are our recommendations for 2021.
The global situation is being exacerbated by the new mutant SARS-CoV-2 B 1.1.7 that had been detected in the UK in December 2020, carrying 17 mutations in its genome. We, as all other virologists/scientists, were surprised to see such a number of mutations showing up in a coronavirus at once. This variant is spreading up to 70 % more efficiently from person to person. In the UK, regional infection numbers skyrocketed. However, this variant does not seem to be deadlier than the average SARS-CoV-2. But a variant, that is able to spread at a faster pace, is bearing a danger: It is a matter of time, when mutations with diverse properties will arise, such as being deadlier, dodging the mitigation efforts, evading the immune response, or even the vaccines.
It all comes down to infection numbers, it is stochastics. Thus, case numbers must be suppressed with all means available: Down to zero in summer 2021! This is the goal for summer 2021 – if possible, all over Europe!
This year, a scientific study will begin in the US and several other countries, that will examine the effects COVID-19 has on the brain. There have been numerous observations of a negative impact on cognitive abilities after infection. A fogging of thoughts, disorientation, memory decline, are just a few of the symptoms described. This again shows the danger imposed by this virus. It shows the importance to minimize the risk of infection as good as possible.
We have a suggestion as to how to escape the current yo-yo effect of measures. It might be the last opportunity to get a grip on this pandemic. In 2021 we do have a last chance! Make mistakes, and the situation will get out of control. This, we do not want to see.
The situation in Germany is as follows:
Infection numbers are far too high. Case communications have declined, therefore we think numbers will be higher than given momentarily. The infection numbers reported by the German Robert-Koch-Institute (which is under political guidance) become more and more spotty, they seem to be far too low. The pandemic dynamics developed a lot faster than anticipated by many. Last week, case numbers were again higher by 16 % than in the previous week.
An emergence of new viral variants is a matter of time. Societies with high incidence rates will see the emergence of mutants that will take hold: The more infections, the more virus particles and the more individual mutants may arise. That is why it is imperative to keep infection numbers as low as possible.
The measures imposed do build some pressure upon the virus. This is called selection pressure. Should the pressure by the mitigation efforts be too weak, some already existing mutants will be able to spread. The same effect will be seen with the efficiency of a vaccine.
The vaccines are offering a glimpse of hope. However, the vaccination campaigns will unfold their impact only once a large portion of the population is vaccinated. This will be the case in fall 2021 at best. Should the vaccination campaign be executed efficiently all over Europe, this would be one big step in defeating this pandemic!
The idea, however, to increase the number of vaccinees by reducing the number of shots from two to one, is a recipe for disaster. A weak vaccine-mediated protection, such as after the first shot, is putting a weak selection pressure upon the virus. This will prefer new mutants. Thus, this is the worst thing to do. In order to get maximum vaccine protection, please stick to the results of the clinical studies which had tested exactly this and stick to the recommendations by the EMA. Anything else would be grossly negligent.
VACCINATION: DO NOT REDUCE 2 SHOTS TO 1 SHOT!
The vaccine alone will not stop this virus, since there is one fact rarely mentioned: The vaccine is not providing sterilizing immunity, i.e. the virus still infects vaccinated persons. The virus will be spread by a vaccinated person once infected. The vaccine does protect the vaccinee from disease and consequently from severe outcomes, but the virus is spreading, nevertheless.
Numbers still are far to high. The virus is having to much playground. In Germany, the big drivers of the pandemic have yet to be hit by measures. The problem are all the places where members of more than one household are gathering. This is including not only the private teatime with daily changing guests, it also includes office buildings, factories, meat processing plants, and numerous other situations you might want to imagine yourselves. Thus, the recommendation of the German Ifo Institute among others, to keep the economy running at all costs, is entirely absurd. Here, the decision has been made in favor of profit over employees’ health: Ethically unjustifiable.
Call to Action – ASAP:
We strongly recommend – as soon as possible – a four-week shut down of economy, schools, childcare centers, public transportation. A real shutdown, NOW. Case numbers need to go down significantly, way below the now popular incidence rate of 50! The risk of new mutations arising is too high. As we have said, it is only a matter of time for that to happen.
In short-term, i.e. NOW, a complete shut down is necessary to get a grip on infection numbers and to get through the winter avoiding even more dire consequences (such as increasing case numbers, an ever increasing death toll, overwhelmed ICUs, triage, and the emergence of more dangerous variants).
Indeed, this would make sense all over Europe. We know, this is difficult if not impossible to put into effect. We are appealing to politicians’ and the populace’s reason.
In this time, the vaccine campaigns need to be pushed.
Testing and monitoring capacities need to be increased in Europe. Virus populations need to get sequenced to identify new variants early. Additionally, communication of results needs to be improved.
A small polemic comment: Taxpayers’ money would be better invested here than in metal-junk enterprises such as the TUI or Lufthansa – companies without a future.
In the long term, monitoring for new variants needs to be streamlined in Europe. This way, new mutants will be detected early, with a possibility to confine them. Here, we appeal to the reason of individual governments, and to act cooperatively and in solidarity. This pandemic may only be defeated in concerted action. Currently, we see a lack of understanding and political will to do so.
One disadvantage of vaccines is the fact that they are always lagging behind an infectious disease. Such a pandemic may only be defeated with the production of an arsenal of antiviral drugs. This should be started today. This is exactly what SAJO is offering. Old technologies and platforms, as well as antibody developments, will not help in this pandemic. SAJO has got the advantage in technology and knowhow. SAJO is offering a meaningful and successful solution.
Hint: There are too many experts in the media who argue with comparisons to other viruses. Now, comparisons to other viruses do not help since every pandemic is following its own rules.
Politics, economy, and society do not want to repeat the mistakes of fall/winter 2020. Therefore, it is important to take this situation seriously and to counter it with decisive and useful measures.
We’ve got this one chance!
The election year 2021 is what worries us. There are five upcoming state elections, as well as the elections of the Federal German Government. This will have destabilizing consequences, with a general insecurity in the population. A change in politics in the middle of a crisis such as the current pandemic, when long term strategies are decisive, this might result in an incapacitation or paralysis. In fighting a pandemic, time, strategy, the ability to act, and trust are the most important factors. This poses the question which politicians are taking this situation seriously and actually understand it. Note: Political decisions in 2021 will be in direct correlation to the pandemic, disease, and death.
This, the candidates need to be aware of.
OUR WISHES for 2021:
Please try and attentively read our recommendations for 2021.
Please apply all points as good and as soon as possible. We are fully aware that this will be difficult to implement in time all over Europe. Germany should show an example but only a European strategy will be successful. Viruses cannot be stopped by borders, not in a long term, only in the beginning of an epidemic, with full closures. This would have included cross-border trade and any crossing of the borders for any reason. This is not feasible in the long run.
Hence, we are appealing to your intelligence, your reason, and understanding.
Try and learn from the experts, that is why there are people like us. And try and use this knowhow for the better of all people.
Yours, Sabine and Jörg
SAJO is consulting all around infectious diseases. We are applying our know-how, that we have acquired in more than 20 years. We do what we can to fight this pandemic.
SAJO – for a healthy world and better future!
CALL: We are all in desperate need of new antiviral drugs to defeat SARS-CoV-2 with all its future mutants. SAJO offers THE key technology to enable this timely. Should you seek an opportunity to invest, please feel free to do so, in order for us to develop antivirals and to make progress at a faster pace.
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