Daniel Jeanmonod MD
I have chosen to write this text in addition to our two earlier contributions because of the development of the “second wave” which came afterward, and in reaction to the current relentless accumulation of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs, also called corona, “social” or lockdown measures).
These are characterized by separation/isolation of human beings through the application of masks, distance maintenance between people, stay-at-home orders and business closures.
An important study in Frontiers in Public Health on the data delivered by 160 countries has found no correlation between death rate and stringency of lockdown measures.
Another study showed no significant benefits of stay-at-home order and business closure on epidemic case growth.
The following two examples confirm these results: a country with low lockdown stringency like Sweden has at the moment the same fatality rate per million inhabitants as France, but lower than Spain, Italy and UK, where severe lockdown measures were applied.
In addition, Sweden has had for the second wave a much smaller excess mortality than France, Italy or Spain, an observation which allows one to suspect that lockdown measures are delaying the establishment of herd immunity. This is not desirable, as the time during which the old, sick and frail can be exposed to the virus gets longer.
As NPIs are imposed in an overloaded ambiance of viral threat, they are additionally in position to activate destructive neuro-immunological mechanisms as well as to trigger secondary deleterious psycho-social, medical and economic developments5. Both have a direct effect on population mortality.
Analyses indicate that at least a third, and possibly more than half, of the observed excess mortality may be caused by the applied measures. Measure-based mortality will proceed and may even accelerate if the fear-mongering stays and no end to the nightmare is presented to a now chronically overloaded population.
We are in the typical context of a “self-fulfilling prophecy”, where, through neuro-immunological overresponses, physical immobilization, social isolation and socio-economic difficulties, the death toll gets maximized and the expected death prophecy confirmed.
This requires then the maintenance and even increase of measures, and explains why people questioning their necessity are swiftly qualified as fools, idiots, conspiracy theorists or even murderers (heartlessly risking lives).
For almost a year, cultivated virus hysteria has fuelled the belief in a necessity to suppress “Covid19”.
Epidemiological models, revealed regularly as strongly pessimistic, justify preemptive NPIs even if collected data show positive reassuring evolutions. These measures are presented as unavoidable parts of the fight to be held, and are applied relentlessly without questioning their efficiency (see reference ), and without considering, as mentioned above, their lethality.
PCR tests are enacted for the whole population, with their extreme sensitivity and false positives5, maintaining in the population the awareness of the dreadful presence of the virus. The fact that a large percentage (88% in Italy) of deaths happened in the presence of corona (but not due to corona) in the context of end-of-life situations is not considered.
Science moves on to find new threat markers, like the reproduction factor R and recently the rise of mutated virus variants. Thoughts and emotions remain focalized on covid-19 and its threat, taken out of the regular context of the normal human/virus interactions.
For example, tests of corona presence have never been performed before to establish what normality is along the year, and variants can be seen as the logical and usual answer of viruses to the development of human herd immunity.
In our county of Solothurn in Switzerland, 2,662 deaths have been reported for 2020, among which 219 were attributed to covid-19 and of these 211 were living in nursing homes. Median age of covid-19 death in Switzerland is 86 years old, and the rate of significant premorbidities is very high (97% with at least one premorbidity).
Switzerland, in spite of a clear-cut “second wave”, has experienced no excess mortality for ages below 65, and even for 70 and above, a correction for the increasing size of this old age group shows no excess mortality for 2020, and a lower mortality in 2020 than in 2012, 2013 and 20156. Finally, for the whole swiss population, the total death rate per 100,000 inhabitants was the same in 2003 and even higher in 2000.
Where do we find, here and around the world, any motivation and necessity to limit the professional and social activities of a whole population for now almost a year?
Should we have locked populations in the past during former flu epidemics? Obviously no.
Shall we have to do that in the future? How long can our human environment resist such heavy, deleterious and questionable measures? And when shall the people of the world get their basic human rights and freedom back?
Of course, fear takes the best out of us, and nobody is to blame for damages produced unwillingly and under the pressure of fear.
There is, alas, no doubt about the following fact: modern, technological medicine often lacks the compassionate therapeutic dimension one expects from it, and presents the unpleasant tendency to promote huge profits through drugs and medical-technical products, with less than appropriate up to fraudulent practices
Fraud resides in the highest levels, as exemplified by the recent withdrawal of a fraudulent article from the famous journal the Lancet. This article claimed wrongly the inefficiency and dangers of a plant-based, well known, efficient and inexpensive medication.
A proper decision and information strategy in the corona crisis would have been to open the scientific, political and public debate to different views, with the goal to come up together to a balanced, consensual program, in which nobody is right or wrong and all agree to have worked together on the best possible solutions.
It is extremely counterproductive and dogmatic to promote the exclusive value of the dominant view, proposed by governments and their scientific task forces and widely distributed by the media. Other views are being seen as unacceptable, not-an-option, or even ethically wrong.
Why propagate the idea the whole world needs to be vaccinated against covid-19 in the context of the above-mentioned epidemic data? What of the recent confirmation, published by the WHO and authored by Dr. Ioannidis, of a general average case fatality ratio of 0.23% (analyzed from 61 studies), in the range of a flu epidemic?
In addition, to the contrary of what the WHO has proposed recently, we may strongly consider that the natural herd immunization process, established by life processes along millennia, and non-dangerous for the immense majority of the active population below 65, will be more efficient than any vaccination.
Finally, the essential role of physical and emotional health as protections against severe infectious developments has been dramatically ignored in favour of medical technical interventions, precipitating many human beings into severe disease evolutions by physical inactivity and social isolation.
Our governments should contribute to protect without coercion the old, sick and frail and free the rest of the population from all general NPIs. We have all learned what to do in winter with our old and frail parents, who particularly need our presence and can decide for themselves what they prefer: state-imposed protection, or an evening to their life surrounded by their beloved ones.
Numerous human beings have died these last months in appalling physical and emotional conditions, immobilized in their rooms and isolated from families and friends. This has lasted long enough and should be considered as inhumane and stopped. The Great Barrington Declaration enacts the reduction of measures to “focal” protection. It was proposed by 3 epidemiologists from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford and has collected more than 50,000 signatures from medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners as well as from more than 700,000 concerned citizens.
The people need to regain their democratic rights and freedom of decision without delay.
With courage and scientific data at hand, we should stop hiding away from the virus on the order of our governments. We should trust nature that things will balance back to normal, instead of tampering chaotically and arrogantly with the natural dynamics regulating the human/virus interactions.
The relentless, never-ending confinement measures have led to the appearance of a host of absurd, even pathetic measures and situations, with some citizens wearing masks alone in their own cars, or jogging masked and alone in the countryside…I have heard many people around me wonder if they were not in a nightmare or a bad movie.
We need to wake up and work to fix this.
Daniel Jeanmonod MD, Professor Emeritus of Neurosurgery at Zürich University and Physiology & Neuroscience at New York University.
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