PRESSURE COOKER!

Increasing case numbers, no preparations, and yet Germany wants to lift the measures… what is wrong here?

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Dear readers,

We are listing the points that do not fit here.

First, let’s have a look at the current pandemic situation:

Globally, there are 115 million confirmed cases, with 2.6 million deaths of COVID-19. Although Germany (as advised by the German Robert-Koch-Institute) is testing far less than in December, numbers are rising. We are counting 2.5 million cases with more than 70,000 deaths. (Source: Johns Hopkins University, March 2, 2021)

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Transmission spots are known: The claim we would not know the places and situations where infections are taking place is plain wrong! For a year now, we know that infections are happening where people are gathering without taking precautions. This is independent of the location, but mainly happens in closed spaces. The risk of infection is being reduced by keeping a polite distance of 2 meters, and the donning of a N95 mask. The risk is further reduced by a lower infection rate in the population. Schools are no exception here. A recent example may be given by the schools in Saxony, that had opened at a high incidence rate, just to be closed again after two weeks. Preventive measures were not adhered to. People involved obviously did NOT seem to fathom the situation.

Vaccinations: It is nothing short of a scandal that there are too little vaccine doses, but still there are doses not being used. Please let those people be vaccinated who would like to have a shot. The rate of vaccinations MUST be accelerated. The immune system needs several weeks to mount a defense after vaccination. With time the immunity will wane, however. With high numbers of infections, chances for the emergence of new mutants are big. Our colleagues in the US are sharing this opinion; yesterday, Tony Fauci again voiced his concerns about this issue.

The emergence of new viral mutants: The more infections in a population the bigger the chance of new variants. The virus is undergoing selective pressure by the imposed measures as well as the – as yet low – vaccination rate. It is a matter of time for a “German” variant to emerge and spread. Our case numbers still are far too high, and thus enforcing this development. One recent example from the US, a country with widespread infections: Yesterday, the Washington Post announced a new variant spreading fast in New York State. This may happen in any place, where infection numbers are high.

Self-tests at home and rapid tests do identify highly contagious individuals fast. They are giving results in the morning before you are brushing your teeth already. A negative result does NOT mean the person is free of virus, but a positive one is indicative of a highly infectious situation. Such a result is leading to IMMEDIATE quarantine of the COMPLETE household. Children in Austria are capable of doing this test, while the German grown-ups are not believed to be competent in doing so. What does this tell us?

Who wants the measures to be lifted without any preparation? Those who want to behave as if there was no pandemic. Let’s party, Easter and summer holidays await, as well as visits to restaurants. People who want to lead a life free of any meaning – with the support from our government. After a year, even the last person should have understood. There is NO BACK to the “old” lifestyle. All those who are undermining the measures, leading to increasing case numbers, ultimately will undermine their own desires. The strategy we had outlined several times will lead you there, but it will take time. Stamina and discipline are key.

We are advising yet again, if you want to re-open, do so stepwise: People need to adjust their behavior, and to learn to keep up the protective measures. We do not see this happening. We are observing too many people not donning the N95 masks correctly. In most cases they are worn too loosely.  We are seeing educators without face masks in a group of children, as if nothing had happened.

Now, the health secretaries of several states are demanding a lifting of measures in senior residences and nursing homes, for reasons of a high vaccination rate. We want to point to our comments on the mounting of an immune response and the waning of protection with time. Senior residences already were a hygienic disaster before the COVID-19 pandemic. Every year several incidences of norovirus outbreaks were happening in these facilities, with numerous deaths. Why should such facilities be allowed to lift hygienic measures? We consider this reckless.

It is necessary to make appropriate preparations before a stepwise re-opening, and these need to be communicated and advertised. Where are the country-wide campaigns for vaccinations, tests, and the hint that even then, certain measures need to stay in place?

Until all this is being implemented, a lifting of the current measures simply is IMPOSSIBLE.

With 16 governors and 16 ways out of the pandemic, this is a real pressure cooker. Cartoon Oliver Hoogvliet

What will happen if a couple of governors, who are under political pressure, do lift the measures contrary to all experts’ advice, and without a proper preparation of the public? We want to repeat again: These preparations include regular tests, the continuing of a massive vaccination campaign, and the advice that physical distancing and N95 masks will need to stay in place for the time being.

We need to prevent infections. There is nothing more we can do.

All the means at hand need to be used in order to bring down infection numbers.

Help for companies under pressure: Financial support needs to be sped up for those small enterprises that are coming under severe pressure. To now open businesses, just to close them again, pushing them into insolvency is not only economically but also morally irresponsible.

Fair distribution of federal support: Why is it that only the big ones are supported? Daimler Benz announced a 4 billion Euro profit in the year 2020. This was due to tax money (through direct federal support and the federally financed short-time work), while thousands of small enterprises are facing bankruptcy. The dividend paid by Daimler is coming directly from the German taxpayers. Do you consider this a good signal by our government? This is how people are pushed to voting for the political extremists.

Travel and vacation: Both we consider questionable. This may work fine if everyone is being tested daily, and if a positive test is consequently resulting in immediate quarantine. Vacationers need to be aware that their leisure time behavior might come at the cost of others’ health or even life.

COVID-19 is not just a lung disease, but also a disease of the neuronal system, including the brain. It is a disease of the immune system, the blood vessels, resulting in internal bleeding, embolism, or stroke. It is a disease of several organs, including heart, intestine, and liver. All of this is resulting in long term damage, such as diabetes or autoimmune disease. In many cases this will lead to occupational disability. Please check your insurance documents if they are including COVID-19. Should your insurance be older than 2020, this will not be the case.

In the upcoming meeting of governors and chancellor we are hoping for a responsible discussion, that is happening without any political games of an election year. Now to keep the foot on the brakes will pay off in the long run, everything else will lead to the already known yo-yo effect. Decisions need to be made for the good of the Federal Republic, not for the good of a governor. To make decisions on the sum of potential votes alone has a name: POPULISM.

The race against time has started already!

We are again pointing to our two previous blog posts dealing with the strategy for 2021.

https://www.sajo-innovation.de/blog/call-to-action-asap/

https://www.sajo-innovation.de/blog/strategy-2021-to-defeat-sars-cov-2/

The way out of the pandemic, by Dr. Sabine Breun and Dr. Jörg Baumann, use of this figure is permitted with authors’ names exclusively! (To zoom in please press CTRL+).

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!

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A heartfelt thanks to Oliver Hoogvliet for the awesome cartoon, ollihoo (https://hoogvliet.de).

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