Hon. Dr. Andrej Golubew MD, Minister of Health of the Federal Republic of Lostisland, comments on the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Wuhan Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a member of the Coronavirus family, alongside approx. 40 other viruses. Its closest relatives are beta coronaviruses SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV; the common flu virus is unrelated.
Unlike SARS (8096 infected, 774 deaths, 9.6% fatality) and MERS (2506 infected, 862 deaths, 34% fatality) outbreaks, with the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic we can’t yet calculate the fatality rate, as some unscrupulous journalists do, and only know the mortality.
The mortality rate of COVID-19 is about 2.3% (approx. 1.7% for women and 2.8% for men), going up to 15% for elder patients, and even higher when other severe diseases are present. Yet, the virus is relatively harmless for young and healthy adults.
This demonstrates a drastic difference from the Spanish flu, which was mostly taking the lives of 30-40 y.o. adults, i.e. ones who were relatively healthy and young. A number of viruses may provoke the so-called cytokine storm when the immune system turns against itself and kills the body alongside the infection. With the coronavirus such risk doesn’t exist: it’s dangerous for elders, chronically ill, weakened and malnourished. The virus more dangerous for men than women, likely for psychosomatic reasons, though it isn’t yet certain.
What can we conclude?
- There is no reason to consider the virus a bioweapon: it doesn’t fulfill the requirements for weaponry, otherwise no one onboard Diamond Princess would have remained alive, and the fatality wouldn’t be much different from the number of those infected. Furthermore, nature was perfectly capable of creating Spanish flue far before the era of bioweapons.
- It’s simply another acute respiratory infection, albeit a severe one. A Flu 2.0. There won’t be an apocalypse in the real world, but likely in the financial one.
- It’ll likely become seasonal, like flu; or maybe not, as it is too early to draw conclusions, and will wither away after the outbreak. We can be convinced that it won’t be permanently circulating, or at least there’s no data suggesting that it will. Face masks should be worn by those infected or when visiting locations where they’re concentrated, but are totally useless on a street.
- The vaccine won’t be developed until autumn if developed at all. Don’t expect it during this outbreak. There aren’t any drugs with proven direct antiviral effects against novel coronavirus, so it has to be treated like a severe ARI or flu.
Some food for thought:
- 26 February 2020. Chairman of the Moscow Therapeutical Society Prof. Pavel Vorobiev: I’m convinced that no epidemic exists, not even close – merely a local outbreak of a previously unknown disease. What is the evidence? A cruise ship was stationed for quarantine offshore Yokohama for two weeks after a coronavirus case was confirmed on board. Over 600 passengers got infected, but the only fatalities were two 80 y.o., who could’ve died of any other virus as we don’t know what other illnesses they suffered from. Everyone else barely experienced any symptoms. Yet, had the virus truly been so deadly and infectious – and exposed to a confined space – everyone would’ve encountered a very quick end. This example alone disproves all the rumors about a pandemic, and epidemic, etc.
- Vladimir Nikiforov, an infectious disease physician: People in China are confined in their apartments and are only allowed to go grocery shopping every three days. Nothing else operates, not even public transport. Going from one district to another is prohibited, everyone is controlled from a smartphone. The volunteers work in regularly disinfected special suits. And yet, we see a stadium turned into a hospital with more than a thousand patients and no isolation at all, with 20 patients per unit – heaven for hospital-acquired infections. The whole picture resembles a science fiction novel or doomsday Hollywood movie. Everyone understands it’s a game, a global hoax. What we have yet to find out is what is it for.
- According to Reuters, as of 28 February, the global economy suffered a 5-trillion-dollar loss, three months after the virus emerged. The global GDP is about 80 trillion USD, or 20 trillion in three months. It means that the coronavirus mysteriously devoured 1/4 of the world’s GDP for this period. More than China’s GDP of the same period, or more than Germany’s GDP per annum.
Isn’t it hard to believe in a hoax of this proportion?
Yet here it is, the #coronavirus.
An opinion piece is not a medical advice and doesn’t necessarily represent the official position of the Federal Republic of Lostisland.