life is writing the best satire

… today, a rather satiric post from real life in Germany…

In soccer, anything goes!

Cartoon: Oliver Hoogvliet

Paper doesn’t blush, it just needs to be written on, such as with a “hygiene plan”, that persuades the local authorities, and will be used in the restrooms …

To the joy of players and fans, ball and virus are rolling once again – the virus on its spikes! The cosier it gets the better for the virus.

We are sure, the chain of fools on the stands will have their reasons and convictions, that will be all too clear to those people who stick to the protective measures while having to cope with financial losses.

Up to the pandemic’s start we were rooting for soccer, but the pandemic has made obvious the ugly values of soccer, that we as virologists and citizens cannot share in a democratic society. We are disgusted by the action and the special treatment as well as the abuse of influence on politics and society. This club, as so many others (combined with their choice of sponsors – such as Tönnjes) make their ‘values’ obvious. Good-bye soccer!

„panem et circenses“ – No, thanks!

„Good morning, Vietnam”… uhm …

w/o words…

Further statements by Prof. Schreck, repeated in the media over and over again, indicate severe gaps in the ethical education in medicine: Statements such as to describe the premature reopening of child-care centers as “an interesting experiment” … with humans?

The so-called “Heinsberg study” to-date is still awaiting clearance by peer review, i.e. it has yet to be published in a credible scientific journal. The study is under review since May 4th 2020, i.e. it is NOT published. Our opinion: Sloppy work with a subject abuse in Gangelt – a politically motivated study without clearance by an ethical review board. Unacceptable.

Schreck lets himself be celebrated as the ‘voice of science’… We are drawing a line here, to separate ourselves from his sphere of influence and his collaborators.

Do you need any further hints? Never underestimate a lack in ethics. Such a person we do not want to see at a bedside.

In addition, we do not like the public TV stations (whom every single household is forced to pay) giving ethics-free people a voice.

We clearly draw a line between us and ethically questionable work and groups of people.

The voice of science: No! This is no voice of science. Science is based on values. Two German voices of science would be Christian Drosten and Karl Lauterbach.

Back to satire, back to medicine and hospital hygiene:

The Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

A quite likeable, retired hospital hygienist, a medic, is fully convinced that a spread of SARS-CoV-2 is prevented by gargling a disinfectant mouth rinse and the donning of a face mask. This reminds us of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (from the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams).

Well… mouth hygiene definitely is important, primarily for caries prevention (caused by enamel decaying bacteria), and science also knows that such bacteria, when found in other body parts, may cause further morbidity.

The case is different with viruses: To suppress the viral load in an ongoing infection, please gargle once every 15 minutes. Feel free to sing but try to avoid suffocation. Otherwise gargling does no harm.

Scientific fact, no satire: During infection, a virus is entering cells to infect them. It is proliferating to the millions. The disinfectant mouthwash will not reach into cells. After replication, the viruses are released from the cells to find new targets.

Gargling with a disinfectant mouthwash does not harm, but does not help either in interrupting the chain of infections.

We are sure that you will be happily advised by our German capacity Prof. Brinkmann of the Black Forest Clinic (a German TV soap opera of the previous century). We are sure, you and Prof. Schreck will be more than welcome there.

Life is truly writing the best satiric stories.

Do not forget: Minimize risks to stay safe and healthy!

Yours, Sabine and Jörg

Retrovirus Meeting, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories 2005, unknown cartoonist.


Many thanks to Oliver for the lovely cartoons (

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