My Corona Questions

Like everyone i’m fed up with the Corona crisis and want it to stop sooner that later. The primary challenge i have is getting good unbiased and/or emperical information about certain topics to form a good opinion.

Everyone seems to know the truth and what to do, but i always ask myself on what to they base that information. Good knowledgable people sometime come up with information and graphs which in hindsight don’t make sense. Social media is full of the ‘screaming wronged’ and almost by definition not a good source for information. So i thought i’d blog about 3 questions i have and see if i can get some answers.

The main reason for this is that i have now 2 statements

  • I don’t want a vaccination-passport
    • it will exclude people who should not be excluded
    • it will we used more widely that just ‘big events’, entering other countries for example.
    • i don’t need to show a vaccinationpassport for other possible diseases i’ve been vaccinated for, so why now?
    • i’m one of the last to get it, what happens untill that time?
    • once we have it, it’s very likely to stay (and misused), so without an exitstrategy…..
    • what about my kids (<12), won’t i be able to take them to large events anymore?
    • it seems like a beginning of the end
  • I’m not sure i want a vaccin, because the data shows that my age-group, if healthy, has almost no risk of dying. So why would i need it?
    • For myself: I have an auto-immune decease, so even the slightest chance of things going wrong, i try to avoid. Otherwise i’m perfectly healthy (i think) and have almost no chance of dying.
    • For others: sure, but the agegroup (in combination with know underlying illness) for whom it’s a possible danger is getting a vaccin. So if they have a vaccin and somewhere between 70-90% protection, then the healthcare system will get back to normal. Because that’s why we’re in a lockdown.

So with that in mind i have a few questions:

1. Is the coronavaccin safe?

In my opinion and what i’ve read from what i feel are reliable sources: yes.

There are a lot of folks out there who have spoken out against it and are reluctant. From the anti-vaxx groups to sceptics, from big-pharma haters to doctors and other medical experts, and just regular people who feel they don’t get told the entire things.

So i’ve been reading about what the vaccin actually does (one example: cdc), how long it stays in the body, etc.. Preferably from a combination of sources, like actual experts on vaccins and people who invented it. I do get the sceptisism because it’s quite a new (rNA) technology that’s being used (although in the making for a long time), but that doesn’t make it a bad technology. Actually it’s very promosing and hopefull for future outbreaks (which will occur).

Moreover, there are almost 400mln people who have been vaccinated, with different vaccins. If it really was bad for you than a lot more people would have died and even countries like China and Russia won’t be able to keep their population in check.

What you do get is a lot of news about people dying after they’ve gotten the vaccin which now even means that some countries stop giving people the AstraZenica vaccin. I found this site to be helpfull which investigated those deaths. And depending on your level of sceptisism, it’s often older people (>70) who have other health-issues as well and simply the ‘normal’ deathrate. Those people would have died anyway and it does not seem to be related.

Now bigpharma haters and conspiracy nuts will most likely not trust those numbers or sources, but then again, anything, no matter how realiable or emperical, won’t resonate with those people. So no use arguing there.

So why won’t you get the vaccin then if it’s safe?

Good question: same reason i don’t get the flu-shot, why would i need a vaccin against something that only affects me like a flu. Sure there is a risk, and if the vaccins started with the healthy population it would have gotten it. But that’s not what’s happening. And i have a firm believe that healthy food and living is protection enough against corona, maybe not from contracting it or even getting sick, but dying…..nope

2. Is corona no worse than the flu?

No it’s definitly worse, however, what you hear it’s 3-5 times more lethal than the flu. Which sounds bad, and it is, but you have to look at the group of people for which it is so lethal. According to the site i shared (worse):

COVID-19 patients with the highest risk of death included those aged 75 and older who also had chronic kidney disease or dementia, and Blacks who were obese, or who had diabetes or kidney disease.

So, although bad for those people which need to be protected because it’s definitly not always their fault (yes, even obesity is not always something just to be solved with eating less and more excercise), it most certainly does not apply to everyone. And that’s where politicians and newsoutlets play the ‘scare’-card to get people in line.

So excellent news that those people will get vaccinated, that is the only way out. But for most people, especially reasonably healthy, if they get it, it’s more like a heavy flu. Yes, there’s always a small fraction of young healthy people who are worse off with the virus, but to base your life on those numbers seems wrong.

3. Who can i trust for corona information?

Everyone looks at it from their perspective and interests so there is no 1 source which has the ‘truth’. I do recommend potholer 54, a medical journalist who does his research well and gets to the bottom of certain public (covid) ‘truths’.

What i also try to do is listen to both sides of the isle and then really look out for specific generic arguments, statements or graphs people use and always aks: what are they showing me, what are they actually saying, which sources to they quote.

Especially regarding the evening-curfew, there is no clear evidence anywhere that it works. I’ve seen someone use a graph with a small decline which they related to the curfew but someone else related it to the weather or another event which seems just a likely. And people were already not going out much at night during winter. But i understand the rationale behind it, most transmissions occur during personel visits so keeping that to a minimal should in theory work.

Same goes for facemasks, there is very little actual evidence from studies that it has a big impact. Sure, it’s not being tauted as THE solution but having a law in place that mandates wearing masks in indoor public places without any clear evidence is strange to say the least.

But the question nowadays is, who can i trust for anything anymore. Difficult, but i have some suggestions.

My suggestions

  • Don’t limit yourself to 1 source, at least use 2 different sources
  • Look at the data yourself, in the Netherlands I use: which tells me that although the numbers are up (which is a result of policy change), the percentage is down which is more telling.
  • Don’t just ingest information/opinions, be critical what people tell you
  • Discuss things with other people, they might come up with an angle you haven’t thought of (which possibly could change your opinion, so be carefull 🙂 )
  • Listen mostly to people who actually know something about the subject being discussed. A doctor is not a virologist is not an immunologist is not…..
  • As always, educate yourself and keep learning!

And coming back to my statements, they still stand although i’m less worries about the vaccin.

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