Covid Update, Spring 2021

30 March 2021 — Swiss Policy Research

An update on virus origin, vaccines, early treatment, long covid, and covid mortality.

Facts about covid-19

The fully referenced 20 facts about covid-19 have been thoroughly updated. In the section below the summary, there are 16 updated diagrams, followed by all recent SPR articles on covid-19.

Read more: Facts about covid-19 or in German: Fakten zu Covid-19

Origin of SARS-CoV-2

The summary of evidence regarding the origin of the novel coronavirus has also been fully updated. Based on current evidence, the Wuhan Institute of Virology remains the most likely source, but a natural origin or a more complex, geostrategic background cannot be excluded. As in previous pandemics, the WHO is primarily engaged in PR activities.

Read more: On the origin of SARS-CoV-2

Vaccines

Real-world studies confirm that vaccine effectiveness in people up to about 70 years is high, but the level of effectiveness in older people remains uncertain. Moreover, neutralization achieved by current mRNA vaccines against the ‘Brazilian’ and ‘South African’ variants is already 10 to 100 times lower; therefore, regular ‘booster shots’ will likely become necessary.

Reported post-vaccination deaths in the USA and Europe are approaching 5000. The real figure may be even higher as there is a substantial reporting backlog. Contrary to media reports, deaths after mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna) are higher than after AstraZeneca. Dozens of cases of blindness, deafness and miscarriages have also been reported.

US physician J. Patrick Whelan had warned the US FDA already in early December that vaccines based on the coronavirus spike protein may themselves trigger symptoms of severe systemic covid, including blood clots, pulmonary embolism and brain inflammation.

According to New York attorney Aaron Siri, governments and employers are not (yet) permitted to require covid vaccinations, as covid vaccines have not yet been fully authorized: they only received an “emergency use authorization”. For the same reason, health insurers view covid vaccines as “experimental” and may decline cost coverage in case of adverse events.

Read more: Covid vaccines: Post-vaccination deaths and The “Vaccine Passport” Agenda

Early treatment

Note: Patients are asked to consult a doctor.

The covid-19 early treatment protocol has been updated and now includes budesonide (a corticosteroid asthma spray) as well as PVI-based mouthwashes and nasal sprays, all of which have been found to be effective against coronavirus infection in several small studies.

In a recent 15-minute testimony, US professor Dr Peter McCullough, lead author of a landmark paper on covid early treatment, emphasized the importance of ambulatory multi-drug treatment in high risk patients to inhibit viral replication, disease progression, and the development of severe covid complications. The late-treatment strategy adopted in many Western countries may have been one of the most consequential mistakes of the entire pandemic.

Indeed, even the very expensive monoclonal antibodies were found to be totally ineffective in hospitalized patients, but highly effective in early treatment. However, some monoclonal antibodies have already lost their effectiveness against some of the new virus variants.

Read more: On the Treatment of Covid-19

Long covid

According to the latest, most solid studies, about 2% to 10% of people report post-acute symptoms lasting longer than three months. The good news is that myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) is less common than initially assumed. Unfortunately, many long covid studies lack PCR or antibody confirmation, a control group, and a symptom severity score.

Read more: On post-acute covid (“long covid”)

Masks

The fact that masks don’t work against influenza-like pandemics has been known since the “Spanish flu” in 1918/19, and has been confirmed many times since. However, the coronavirus pandemic for the first time has shown that even FFP2/N95 respirator mandates make no difference at all:

Covid cases in Bavaria (FFP2/N95 mandate) vs. Germany overall (DaFeid/ARD/RKI)

Global covid mortality and lethality

By the end of March 2021, there were close to 3 million covid deaths in close to 8 billion people. At a global infection attack rate of 10% to 30%, this results in a global covid mortality of about 0.035% and an average global covid lethality (IFR) of 0.1% to 0.35%.

By comparison, in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020, tuberculosis and malaria alone each (!) claimed fifty to a hundred times more years of life than Covid-19.

In Western countries, corona lethality is higher than the global average, but nursing homes, while representing only about 1% of the population, account for about 50% of deaths. Thus, IFRs in the general, non-nursing home population typically range between 0.3% and 0.6%.

Read more: Covid mortality: a global overview and Covid vs. the flu, revisited

Belgium: Covid IFRs in the entire population vs. non-nursing home population (Molenberghs)

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