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COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in Germany: A holistic approach

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May, 2020: For more than 6 months now, society has been involved in a development that leads to more and more disputes in personal and scientific but also in political discussions. The reason is the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus, not because of its extraordinary danger to people with “normal” health conditions, but because of the miscommunication between media and population. Whether and to what extent there is deliberate manipulation to achieve certain behaviors in the population shall be assessed from a communication-psychological point of view. It shall give a differentiated view to enable individuals´ own assessment about how politicians act, why they ignore scientific facts and cause damage to the economy and health of people. Finally, a socio-philosophical conclusion is drawn focusing on the citizen as the main actor. This document was made in full compliance with scientific standards for literature evaluation. November, 2020: After 5 months, the author gives an update about the current political, scientific and social situation in Germany.
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Contact: info@tristanstrivium.com
Release: 20th of May, 2020, Duesseldorf, Germany.
Update: 1st of November, 2020, cf. p. 48.
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)
in Germany: A holistic
approach
A communication-psychological, socio-philosophical
and biomedical analysis of the pandemic
Author: Tristan Nolting
https://tristanstrivium.com
2
Abstract
May, 2020:
For more than 6 months now, society has been involved in a
development that leads to more and more disputes in personal and scientific
but also in political discussions. The reason is the spread of the new SARS-
CoV-2 virus, not because of its extraordinary danger to people with “normal”
health conditions, but because of the miscommunication between media and
population. Whether and to what extent there is deliberate manipulation to
achieve certain behaviors in the population shall be assessed from a
communication-psychological point of view. It shall give a differentiated view
to enable individuals´ own assessment about how politicians act, why they
ignore scientific facts and cause damage to the economy and health of
people. Finally, a socio-philosophical conclusion is drawn focusing on the
citizen as the main actor. This document was made in full compliance with
scientific standards for literature evaluation.
1
November, 2020:
After 5
months, the author gives an update about the current political, scientific and
social situation in Germany.
Key points
- COVID-19 was verifiably miscommunicated regarding its
dangerousness
- Politicians in Germany who followed the instructions of the World
Health Organization (WHO) have to take responsibility for the
economic, social and ecological consequences for the future
- Policy makes unjustifiable decisions as authority over the health of
citizens and thus intervenes in the right of the self-determination
without basis
- The COVID-19 debate became an ideological and digital war”,
triggered by certain institutions (especially supported by modern
media)
3
Reference
The author is well equipped with knowledge of each subject area arising e.g.
from his university education (B.A. Ecotrophology). At the moment, the author
is studying Psychology of Mental Health at the London Metropolitan
University. Through several years of studying specialized literature the author
has achieved an interdisciplinary level of knowledge. Upon request the author
will be happy to compile curriculum vitae with in-depth literature on his
expertise and education in addition to his sources.
The author affirms that this work has been inspired by an interest in genuine
and honorable scientific research to collect data and facts. All sources can be
found in the bibliography. There is no financial conflict. In case of
misrepresentations or interpretations the author asks to be corrected. In the
interest of the reader media reports were presented as a link in order to be
able to check them as quickly as possible - scientific studies were quoted
complying to the AMA standard.
The author suggests a transparently working and comprehensive council of
experts consisting of virologists, microbiologists, epidemiologists,
immunologists, biomedical scientists and other interdisciplinary experts to be
established with the aim to advise politics, ensuring an adequate solution of
actual challenging situation. A measure which would help politics, society and
economy.
The author would like to make a contribution to finding the truth about a
partly irrational COVID-19 debate. In the interest of every citizen this analysis
can make a valuable contribution to the future development. If you like you
can share this analysis with your network. The results summarized here can
contribute to the relaxation of the body's central nervous system (CNS), since
the cognitive reassessment of the "invisible enemy" -as the virus is called by
politicians and the media- does not pose a threat to citizens with “average
health”, equipped with sufficient hygiene measures , well-being and a
preventive healthy lifestyle.
The author would like to point out that fear is a nerve-damaging
2
,
immunodeficient
3
and well-being diminishing
4
feeling which cannot be basis
for a healthy society. The same applies to the current virus topic.
4
Inhaltsverzeichnis
1.
Biomedical classification (p. 5)
Viruses, living organisms & the immune system (p. 5)
Measures against pathogens (p. 7)
The new corona virus (SARS-CoV-19) (p. 12)
COVID-19 comparison to other diseases (p. 15)
Renowned experts who speak out against the current political COVID-
19 measures (p. 19)
2.
Media development (p. 23)
Do media distort reality? (S. 23)
Popularity of COVID-19 (p. 25)
Media propaganda (p. 26)
Illustration of medial power (p. 28)
Potential for conflict in the media (p. 33)
Summary (p. 35)
3.
The social structure (p. 37)
Prof. Dr. Rainer Mausfeld's politics of fear(p. 37)
Failures of the policy (p. 38)
Presentation of critics (p. 39)
Conclusion (p. 42)
Recommendations for society (p. 43)
4.
Update, 20th of October, 2020 (p. 48)
5.
Bibliography (p. 59)
5
Biomedical classification:
Viruses, living organisms & the immune system
Humans as living beings consist of countless self-organizing units. The basic
premise of biology is that all living beings consist of cells. Depending on the
properties of these cells (structure of the outer cell wall and functions of the
inner milieu), they are classified differently. Bacteria and viruses are some
examples. Viruses, unlike bacteria, do not consist of cells. They have no
metabolism, but only carry the genetic information for the production of new
cells. Viruses are up to a hundred times smaller than bacteria and have no cell
wall. They only have a coating of proteins, sometimes additionally a lipid
membrane (fat molecules in double-sided arrangement).
But the most important difference about viruses versus bacteria is that viruses
need a host. Bacteria multiply by cell division - viruses multiply by infiltrating
their genetic information, thereby reprogramming the host. The viruses then
leave the host and continue this process on new host cells. At least until
specific immune cells stop them.
5
However, these mentioned theories do not tell anything about the
dangerousness of both organic units. What we can state is that, according to
the scientific research of Wylie et al. (2014), we always carry viruses in and on
our bodies. Whether herpes, papilloma or adenoviruses - the body is not only
a reservoir of viruses, but also of bacteria.
6
Until now it is not quite clear why
different immune systems of humans react differently to the same virus. This
will be discussed further on.
It can be proven without doubt that the human body has the ability to carry
any virus without activating harmful properties. This is even the case with the
well-known HIV-virus which can develop to AIDS.
7
Virologists and bacteriologists now assume that the immune system plays a
key role in this process, not necessarily the bacterium itself. The well-known
French physician, chemist and pharmacist Antoine Béchamp shall have
referred to the circumstances of the infectious disease, not to the virus (or
bacterium) itself, with his famous sentence on his deathbed: "The germ is
nothing, the terrain is everything."
8
This dualistic phenomenon is also known
to other scientific areas. In psychology, resilience (psychological resistance) is
6
decisive for the strength of a stress stimulus. In the salutogenesis model of
Aaron Antonovsky the expression of the health continuum is important for the
protection against the disease continuum.
9
And in the supercompensation
model (kinetics) of Nikolaj Jakovlev, regeneration is the antagonistic buffer for
the type (intensity) of activity.
10
Microbiology is not exempt from this phenomenon of the dualistic nature of
natural processes. Every discipline has to adhere to the physical laws of the
world (metaphysics), the principle of action & reaction (causality), otherwise
there is either a gross error of understanding or else our current metaphysics
is fundamentally wrong.
11
Further examples of the dualistic principle (also
referred to dichotomy, polarity) in reality are man and woman, heat and cold,
joy and suffering, electrons and protons, bits: 0 and 1 (universal computer
language), directions: up and down, acoustic volume: loud and soft, genetics:
double helix and much more. The list of proof is too long to be fully
addressed here. But consider it this way: From a philosophical perspective, an
effect needs a cause just as much as light needs darkness. Whoever cannot
distinguish linguistically between two opposing elements cannot perceive
them. One who cannot distinguish darkness from light cannot see. The senses
of the human body are therefore dependent on the differentiation through
opposites. Reality itself becomes perceivable through duality (many
philosophers, such as Airstoteles in his hylemorphism”, have elaborated
upon this principle). Nature also proceeds according to this principle: If you
e.g. study the human body you will learn that the hormones insulin and
glucagon regulate each other antagonistically.
So if we want to deal with COVID-19 by a holistical approach, we have to
acknowledge the immune system as the starting point for the dangerousness
of the virus. Only the lack of adaptation and regulation of the immune system
as antagonist makes the virus itself dangerous. This is how the Israeli-
American sociologist Aaron Antonovsky described with his salutogenesis
model the necessity of looking at it from the viewpoint of health, not disease
("It is probably better to concentrate on what keeps people healthy than to
spend immense resources on researching their diseases").9 The ongoing
debate should be considered from this point of view.
7
Measures against pathogens
What makes humans immune to viruses? Well, viruses and bacteria have
evolved along with the immune system over millions of years. They can be
seen as a kind of ambivalent co-inhabitant without which we cannot survive,
but at the same time they can harm us. They can be harmful to such an extent
that as invaders they seek out immune deficiencies, take advantage of them
and settle into the body.
12
To compensate this immune deficiency numerous
medical methods have been developed to improve the human body's
resistance to infection.
These methods include the promotion of hygiene and the use of antiseptic
ingredients, pharmaceutical compounds and vaccines. Virology is still a hot
topic, with COVID-19 even more urgent than ever before. A comparison
between post-industrialized countries and developing countries shows that
lack of hygiene is the major contributor to the spread of infectious diseases.
This has been a problem for decades and has not improved until today.
13
In
most places of developing countries we do not only face missing possibility
for disinfection but simply a lack of clean water. Only if clean water and
hygiene are available to everyone other medical measures can be considered.
Hygiene makes the most important contribution.
A figure of Bildungsverein Elbe-Saale shows that there is a slight reduction of infectious and parasitic
diseases in developing countries - but the lack of hygiene is still much more pronounced than in
industrialized countries, *modified
14
Other methods do not provide such tremendous reduction in infectious and
parasitic diseases. Vaccines and medication usually have a moderate effect
compared to infectious diseases (based on the influenza disease).
15
,
16
This
could be due to the rapid development of pathogens through mutation.
However, due to the lack of a perfect balance between morbidity (statistical
8
measure of the number of patients to the healthy population) and mortality
(number of death cases in relation to the total number of individuals) in case
of influenza vaccination and related possible side effects for risk groups (such
as bacterial co-infections and increased complications) a decision to vaccinate
should be assessed individually and not be forced. Here the risk of
complications has not yet been sufficiently minimized.
17
,
18
Therefore the
recommendation for pathogens that mutate quickly, similar to the influenza
virus, would be individual medical advice, if a vaccine could be useful.
19
In addition, the fact that no real efficacy has been achieved by influenza
vaccination for almost 60 years (moderate evidence) does not give much
confidence in researching a suitable vaccine in the current SARS-CoV-2-
pandemics. The reason for this is the constant adaptation of the pathogen.
Some researchers say that viruses are always one step ahead of us especially
because of their rapid adaptability. And this could also be the case with
SARS-CoV-2.
20
Some studies have already been able to detect mutations
within a few months. Therefore a vaccine does not offer much hope here
either.
21
The development of a vaccine for worldwide vaccination, especially
sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, therefore hardly makes
sense from evidence status so far (May 2020), at least less than it is claimed.
22
In the meantime the vaccine is marketed by Bill Gates as the "most urgent
invention in the world." Moreover the risk of increased worldwide disease
rates due to the targeted vaccine has been hardly studied and could lead to
misjudgement due to the reduced development time (from 5-20 years to a
few months).
23
The following questions should be mentioned here:
o How can a vaccine that is developed in a few months provide long-term
safety (5-20 years)?
o What are the reasons for a vaccination since a reduction in the rate of
illness is achieved mainly through hygienic and psychological factors?
o How can efficiency be achieved if the pathogen mutates within a short
time and the vaccine becomes useless?
In addition to vaccinations protective masks are also used as a method to
reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Still, science does not position itself quite
clearly in this regard. In some studies, it is described that masks can protect
citizens - but this has not been clearly proven yet.
9
In most studies, mask protection is considered to be too limited to draw
conclusions about its effectiveness.
24
,
25
Studies on protectiveness against
COVID-19 recommend a mask mainly for people with previous illnesses.
26
General wearing of masks is also associated with risks: Increased carbon
dioxide absorption, constant touching of the face and potentially improper
use. Thus, the layman is confronted with a variety of conditions by wearing
the mask which lead to more problems in his everyday life. In addition to the
somatic problem of dealing with masks the psychological view also plays an
important role. Everyday masks can cause stress and psychological
problems.
27
Medical Doctor Shane Neilson expresses it as follows in his article
"The surgical mask is a bad fit for risk reduction" (2016):
We act out our collective anxiety about pandemics by wearing masks even
when there isn’t a pandemic, but wearing masks reinforces the idea of a
possible future of pandemic. The problem of affect in political terms is a
contagious one: fear spreads among the public, leading to intensification of
risk management […].”
28
A study by Wong et al. of the relationship between doctors and patients
found another problem with the universal wearing of a mask - reduced
empathy:
This study demonstrates that when doctors wearing a facemask during
consultations, this has a significant negative impact on the patient's perceived
empathy and diminish the positive effects of relational continuity.
Consideration should be taken in planning appropriate use of facemasks in
infectious disease policy for primary care and other healthcare professionals
at a national, local or practice level.”
29
Since viruses are still 1000 times smaller than bacteria it must also be
considered whether an everyday mask can meet the standard of a surgical
mask protection at all (namely pore size and density). An article in the German
Ärzteblatt (2020) concludes that COVID-19 patients cough viruses through
surgical masks and cotton masks.
30
Furthermore a mask recommendation
offers little protection but is responsible for an increasing amount of waste,
especially in oceans.
31
This is a problem that we as society should urgently
avoid. Since latest researches show the effects of microplastics on humans
and the environment and society recognized it through the film "Plastic
Planet"
32
, we know that microplastics can lead to late effects in the future
(especially toxicity to humans).
33
10
If physical hygiene is the most important factor in reducing infectious
diseases, industrialized countries are in the right conditions to communicate
this risk factor. But another important factor came into the focus of
researchers in recent years: The human psyche. This is where researchers have
come up with some quite astonishing results:
The assumption of a body-mind connection is based on the observation that
in the body there is a complex network of feedback, mediation and
modulation between the central and autonomic nervous system, the
endocrine system, the immune system and the stress system. These systems,
in the past considered independent, actually interact with each other on
countless levels. Therefore there are now scientific disciplines, such as
Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) which focus on various interactions between
these body systems, thus providing the basis for further research.
34
The researchers Rouse and Sehrawat conclude that the effects of the disease
are influenced by the characteristics of the infecting virus and the
circumstances of the infection (milieu).
35
In his analysis Medical Doctor Fulvio
D'Acquisto shows that the immune system is linked to a person's emotions -
and especially in a very diverse way. His approach would consider the whole
of the patient, from his/her immune phenotype to his/her personality,
environment and life-style essential […].”
36
Cohen and colleagues achieved
even more impressing results: they were able to link the infection of influenza
viruses with the emotional state of a person. Positive feelings and a balanced
lifestyle seem to contribute to the prevention of infection.
37
Here, every
reader should inform himself/herself and examine the listed studies.
This holistic view of a human being and the relation to viruses, which is mainly
based on the anthroposophic and psychosomatic medicine, implies that
humans, whether consciously or unconsciously, make decisions by choice
that enable them to become ill. Humans who have an increasingly negative
attitude towards life, "moping" and "hanging heads" are also more
susceptible to diseases of the immune system due to their perception of
stress (homeostasis of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system).
Important here is the balance (physiological range), which the body and mind
must maintain, otherwise it becomes ill through its mediator, the central
nervous system (CNS). One important factor causing an imbalance is stress. In
2020, there is lots of evidence for the hypothesis that a negative attitude
11
leads to a lot of stress. For further explanations it is important to remember
that excessive stress leads to pathological (disease) states.
38
,
39
,
40
,
41
Summary: The best prevention against viruses is the strengthening of the
immune system through a balanced lifestyle and also the extension and
strengthening of physical hygiene. For scientific reasons, research into a
vaccine, wearing a protective mask and even the ban on contact make few
sense only. So far, several researchers have pointed out that contact
prohibitions hardly have any measurable influence on the transmission.
42
,
43
The statistics of the Robert-Koch-Institute
44
also show that the reproduction
number of SARS-CoV-2-Virus has already decreased before the lockdown in
Germany (March 23, 2020).
45
There was not even indication that this virus will
spread exponentially. So why should the politics arrange restrictions like a
lockdown?
Source: Robert-Koch-Institute, Germany (2020).45
12
Is it due to the unpredictable behaviour of the population, the test capacity
(number of new tests) or the weather? In retrospection, this cannot be
explained easily. Since the complexity-theory, starting with the research of
meteorologist Edward Lorenz, it is well known that smallest changes can have
a big impact on the expected result. For instance weather forecasts: Up to
twelve decimal places of input parameters can still have a significant impact
on the forecast.
46
This could also be the case when trying to predict
population´s behaviour. In any case it is proven that even before the contact-
prohibitions, a reduction of the reproduction rate happened. And thus a
successful reduction of the virus would be conceivable without significant
restrictions in public life. But apart from the question about the usefulness of
vaccination, protective masks, contact-prohibitions and tracking of infection
chains, the biomedical question naturally arises: What is SARS-CoV-2 and
what COVID-19? How did the pandemic occur? And what can the humans
now do to understand the miscommunication between science and politics?
The new Corona Virus (SARS-CoV-2)
The pathogen, known as "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
(SARS) 2", was first discovered in December 2019 in the Chinese city of
Wuhan by a person with unknown pneumonia. It is related to other SARS
viruses about which it is known to date that they spread rapidly from China in
the early 21st century (2002-2003).
47
At that time no international emergency
was declared by the WHO. This may be due to the different disease rates.
However, the fact is that the extreme quarantine measures introduced
worldwide since January 2020, including the sealing off of large cities, the
closing of borders and the restriction of people to their homes, came as
officially claimed, too late. The virus is now a new co-inhabitant of society.
48
However, there is hope that in the event of an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, there
is already a background immunity from SARS-CoV in the population
49
, so that
protection is already spread upon humans. The T-cells (lymphocytes for the
immune defense system) may be involved.
Due to the rapid spread and the measures imposed, the World Health
Organization declared a state of emergency (pandemic alert) on March 11th,
2020. However, a pandemic by definition does not tell anything about the
real danger of a virus. On the contrary: the WHO can declare a pandemic as
soon as there is only a suspicion of a spreading disease. Thus, a pandemic
could be declared at any time, even if there is no real danger at all. The RKI in
13
Germany states that "the severity [of the infection] is not a criterion for
defining the beginning of a pandemic (proclamation of phase 6)", as the
threat cannot be assessed at the beginning. But the RKI also admits that the
measures taken against the disease must be appropriate.
50
And the
appropriate response to SARS-CoV-2 should clearly be questioned at this
point. Pandemics have demonstrably not been declared by the WHO for
other diseases either, although many researchers have already clearly pointed
to such diseases.
SARS-CoV-2 can be dangerous, but this is also known from other Corona-
viruses. The symptoms caused by the disease COVID-19 are similar to
diseases of other Corona-viruses.
51
They range from a cold to a severe flu,
which can be fatal.
52
But what is most important is that the disease can be
found in humans with a weakened immune system. Therefore this epidemic
mainly affects older people (the RKI states that the average age of the
deceased is 81)
53
and those who have pre-existing illnesses, as forensic
scientist Klaus Püschel noted in Hamburg, Germany.
54
About one of three corona deaths lived in nursing homes or other care facilities.
55
Source: Statista, Germany, *modified (May 14, 2020).
The reduction of the virus thus serves mainly for the protection of
immunosuppressed people. Unfortunately this did not become clear from the
case numbers of the RKI in the beginning, because only on request it became
known that the deceased people were not autopsied and that there was no
1
0
2
6
14
62
182
563
1.652
901
41
4.359
0
2
6
13
40
195
520
1.174
1.838
501
5
5.472
01.000 2.000 3. 000 4.000 5. 000 6.000
0-9 Jahre
10-19 Jahre
20-29 Jahre
30-39 Jahre
40-49 Jahre
50-59 Jahre
60-69 Jahre
70-79 Jahre
80-89 Jahre
90-99 Jahre
100 und
älter
Insg es amt* *
Death cases with coronavirus in Germany by age and gender (May 14, 2020)
Frauen Männer
14
recommendation from the RKI for this either.
56
,
57
The fact that there is a duty
to determine the cause of death in a person and not merely to recognize
symptoms is something that probably every doctor knows better than the
author. Thus, a first misdirection of the Robert-Koch-Institute can be
determined here.
In addition, for several months now, more and more mistakes of the RKI, the
national health authority of Germany, have become apparent - but with
politicians as well. Health Minister Jens Spahn and German Chancellor Angela
Merkel, for example, mentioned wrong figures.
58
But I will discuss more about
politics later (cf. p. 29). It should be understandable that there must be
absolute respectability and reliability in politics here, because the population
adheres to politics and politics adheres to the Robert-Koch-Institute. False
reports create confusion and panic, which can have a negative psychological
impact on the health of the population. That is why, especially in times of
crisis, institutes like the Robert-Koch-Institute need to be conscientious and
reliable.
In terms of seriousness, the Robert-Koch-Institute will probably be damaged
by the mistakes they made while the COVID-19 epidemic. Numerous reports
show contradictory statements. In one moment Lothar Wiehler (President of
the RKI) draws attention to himself because he calls on the hospitals to be
sufficiently equipped to cope with the predicted crisis - in the other
moment there are reports that hospitals are announcing short-time work due
to the lack of capacity utilization.
59
At the beginning of January Wiehler said
on ZDF television: "the risk to the population is low" (Health Minister Spahn
announced a similar statement).
60
Later, the Robert-Koch-Institute speaks of a
global catastrophe.
61
On the one hand, the reproductive rate is used as a
reason for the national "lockdown" - on the other hand, the value since the
reduction of the lockdown methods (such as contact-prohibition) is
considered to be insufficient.
62
There has also been an abrupt change of
opinion on the issue of wearing masks - without any scientific foundation.
63
On May 6, Lothar Wiehler then said publicly: So far I have not recognized
anything where we have made really big mistakes.”
64
Well then, if the previous explanations cannot be considered as errors, the
author would like to point out a serious error, namely the missing comparison
of COVID-19 with various other diseases. It becomes clear that there are
already numerous diseases which would have justified an international
emergency. This was not found to be necessary so far (presumably based on
15
the background that these illnesses are not contagious, see table). But this
does not diminish the fact that political decisions and their communication
have an impact on the health of the general population.
65
Here are some case
numbers of different diseases.
COVID-19 comparison to other diseases
(from 14 May 2020) Infection period: approx. 6 months
66
Worldwide: 297.000 deaths, 4.350.000 infected
Europe: 155.000 deaths, 1.600.000 million infected
Asia: 22.700 deaths, 696.000 infected
(Infected people are not equal to sick people)
* Other disease figures (estimates):
Cancer diseases Germany (2017) 228.000 deaths52
Cancer diseases worldwide (2018) 9.600.000 (deaths)
67
Circulatory diseases worldwide (2015) 17.700.000 (deaths)
68
Circulatory diseases Germany (2017) 433.000 (deaths)
69
Overweight Germany (2016) approx. 160.000 (deaths)51
Overweight Europe (2016) approx. 1.000.000 (deaths)
70
Overweight worldwide (2015) 4.000.000 (deaths)53
Underweight/Hunger worldwide (2014) 9.000.000 (deaths)
71
Overweight Germany (2019) <50%, at least 40.000.000 (sick)
72
Overweight worldwide (2015) approx. 2.200.000.000 (sick people)
73
Ischemic heart disease worldwide (2016) 9.400.000 (deaths)
74
Stroke worldwide (2016) 5.750.000 (deaths)60
Lung disease worldwide (2016) 3.050.000 (deaths)60
Lower respiratory infection worldwide (2016) 2.940.000 (deaths)60
Traffic accidents worldwide (2016) 1.400.000 (fatalities)60
Cf. p. 52 f.
16
Therefore the basic premise can be rejected that the dangerousness of the
disease is based on its infectious properties. Other diseases are equally
dangerous, more widespread and contribute immensely to the fact of viruses
exploiting immune deficiencies. COVID-19 is dangerous mainly because
majority of people neglected to strengthen the immune system in the last
decades. For the initial measures the lockdown could possibly still be justified
by the uncertainty facing an "invisible enemy", but in the meantime this has
obviously been disproved for several months.
In Duesseldorf/Germany there is already proof for March 2020 that generally
fewer humans died than in the previous year. The lockdown was only initiated
in the second half of the month. Thus one can clearly not speak of a killer
virus.
75
This was also the case for the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia,
Germany.
76
Illnesses are preventable even without encroaching on the right for self-
determination and freedom of acting. The question that should be asked here
is if the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the following illness COVID-19 happens
through aerosols or if it needs the viral load of a cough to get humans sick. If
that’s the case there is no real danger for the population, because everybody
will get slightly infected but almost nobody gets sick. But still no country in
the world contemplate the concept of herd-immunity, not even Sweden’s
government, which was convinced by Anders Tegnell of voluntary measures
against SARS-CoV-2. Tegnell didn’t recommend a lockdown as the primary
method of viral-containment. To him this could minimize long-term
economical and psychological damage to Swedens population and make the
SARS-CoV-2-Virus a normal co-inhabitant just like influenza. Yes, Sweden did
some mistakes in protecting elderly and immunosuppressed people, but the
long-term benefits might make Sweden to a role model, as the WHO called
the country recently
(cf. p. 48, Update)
.
77
Again: As long as certain standards are used (hygiene and psychological well-
being), the effects of COVID-19 are far below the expectations of a life-
threatening pandemic. However, what has a major impact on this pandemic is
the risk management of the policy. Politics, institutions such as the Robert-
Koch-Institute and the modern media literally cause massive misjudgment,
confusion and dissonance in the actual circumstances. As a result, the virus
appears more dangerous to the population than it actually is. And even
predictions like "Without countermeasures up to 40 million corona deaths"
from Imperial College in London contribute to this.
78
17
A protection of risk groups can be evaluated as efficient, because this would
not have required financial means to strengthen the national and international
economy, which would certainly be more important for the care of starving
children in developing countries. Politics and economy could have taken care
of the strengthening of nursing staff, auxiliary staff, protective clothing,
hygiene and disinfectants. While with contact prohibitions almost no physical
contact was possible (through a distance of 1.5 meters), the creation of a safe
environment for high-risk patients under special precautions (e.g. protective
clothing) would have made the so important physical contact possible.
Especially older people are psychologically dependent on this contact, as
death researcher Elisabeth Kübler-Ross explained in her research results.
79
All
the problems that have arisen in relation to the economy (tax reductions and
support programmes), society (psychological problems) and the environment
(environmental pollution e.g. through masks) are due to the inability of
politics to manage the current pandemics. The handling of SARS-CoV-2 was
initiated completely wrong, as it has already been communicated by various
researchers with regard to the long-term consequences.
80
,
81
,
82
,
83
But the miscommunication and confusion of modern media and politicians
will be addressed later and the dangerousness of SARS-CoV-2 will be
disproven biomedically now (cf. p. 23).
The basic premise that makes the virus look so dangerous is the fact that
various institutes around the world, such as the Robert-Koch-Institute (RKI),
have deliberately not determined whether someone has died
from
COVID-19,
but only that the person has died
with
the infection SARS-CoV-2.
84
If there is
no autopsy (determination of the cause of death), no exact lethality (mortality)
can be examined. However, the lethality is decisive for the dangerousness of
a virus. While the Johns Hopkins University states the lethality with up to 2%,
there are now enough other studies that came to a much lower result,
comparable to the influenza virus.
85
The Heinsberg-study by Streeck et al (2020) gives a lethality of 0.36%, with
Hendrik Streeck himself estimating the virus to be even less dangerous
(approx. 0.25%).
86
This is made conceivable by the fact that the population
aged 65 and older was overrepresented in the study. Criticism of the
statistical calculation of the Heinsberg study can be rejected, since different
statisticians come to the same result.
87
What is assumed by the Heinsberg
study is that the number of infected persons is much higher than the number
of infected persons already reported. Streeck indicates that this could be up
18
to ten times higher (up to 1.7 million infected), resulting in a mortality rate of
0.2-0.4%.
Some scientists see errors in the calculation here - according to the study, the
range of those infected should range between one million and five million (up
to 40 times as high as the infections of SARS-CoV-2 counted by the RKI).
88
The estimate of this unrecorded (asymptomatic) infections would probably
tend to indicate an even lower lethality of less than 0.2%
(Update: cf. p. 48)
.
And even if only one million people were infected, the lethality would still be
far below 2% as indicated by the Johns Hopkins University.
89
Another variable related to the measurement of COVID-19 infected
individuals is the measurement accuracy of the test procedure.
90
At present, it
is not possible to say exactly how much of a mistake the Polymerase Chain
Reaction (PCR) test is in practice. Therefore, there are considerable
differences in the sensitivity of the tests.
91
Xiao et al. (2020) wrote in their
paper:
"We read with interest the latest report from Li et al. 610 patients with
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were among them. They reported a high false
negative rate of real-time RT-PCR test results for SARS-CoV-2 detection. In
addition, a report was recently published in which patients recovered from
SARS-CoV-2 tested positive."
92
The danger of false negative or false positive tests is due to the patient's
ignorance of the asymptomatic infection. In his belief of the accuracy of the
test, he forgets the inaccuracy of the measurement and the fact that infections
can occur even without illness. Not only can the chains of infection not be
traced due to the incorrectness of the PCR-test, but high-risk patients could
also be infected, which is another reason for the special protection of this
population group. In addition a false negative test could lead to a significantly
higher number of unreported cases and thus further reduce the mortality.
Science journalists in particular should report more about these measurement
inaccuracies and also provide information about alternative test options.
93
From a biomedical point of view, SARS-CoV-2 is not a "killer virus", but a
miscommunicated pathogen whose course usually is harmless, but almost
always leads to severe disease progression for people with an immune
deficiency. Comparisons between previous influenza infection rates
(estimated up to 25.000 deaths per season in Germany
94
) and COVID-19 (as
19
of May 15, 2020: almost 8,000 deaths) also indicate that the pathogen is
harmless to the general population. Concluding, from the perspective of
biomedicine, the big picture of the pathogen can primarily reassure normally
conditioned people.
More preventive measures should be taken in the health sector. In addition to
expanding hygiene measures and improving well-being, there should also be
comprehensive education about pandemic diseases such as cardiovascular
diseases and diabetes which - due to their immunodeficiency effects - lead to
an increase in the danger of infectious diseases. Here, attention should also
be paid to informing the population about immune-strengthening measures.
In the meantime there are indications that vitamin D (the "sun vitamin") plays
an important role in the course of the disease.
95
Further studies on the effects
of health-promoting activities such as sport, community and nutrition are
absolutely necessary. Summarizing, a number of expert opinions should be
mentioned which agree with this conclusion.
Renowned experts who speak out against the current political COVID-19
measures
First of all: If you enter the term "conspiracy theorist Corona" into the most-
known search engine, you will get almost 6 million results (as of 15.06.2020) -
about ten times as many as for Professor Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi (Prof. for
Microbiology and Infection Epidemiology), who gives a detailed and factual
assessment of this topic. The focus of this debate seems to be rather
emotional than factual. The use of the term "conspiracy theorist" alone is a
pure devaluation and can be seen as defamation. But before we go too much
into detail about the devaluation of alternative opinions, which contributes to
the miscommunication in the media, the author cites a list of medical
specialists and experts which are valued for their knowledge and experience
and who now, due to the COVID-19 debate, might be less or not
acknowledged anymore. This list was completed with the information from
Swiss Policy Research.
96
Nevertheless everyone should form her/his own
opinion.
Prof. Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi
is Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Infection
Epidemiology at the Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz and was head of
the institute from 1991 to 2012. The number of more than 250 published
articles on the online database PubMed and his pioneering work in the field
20
of communication of the immune system with pathogens distinguish him as a
renowned German expert. In his videos, interviews and articles he tries to
critically point out the disproportion between the measures taken and the
pathogen and the consequences for our society.
97
,
98
,
99
Stanford professor John Ioannidis
explains in an interview with CNN that
COVID-19 is a "widespread and mild disease" that is equally dangerous or
even less dangerous than influenza (flu) for the general population. In
particular, patients in nursing homes and hospitals should be protected.
100
Hendrik Streeck, Director of the Institute of Virology,
at the Medical Faculty of
the University of Bonn explains the results of his antibody study in a new
interview. Streeck and his colleagues published the so called Heinsberg study.
They found a COVID-19 lethality of 0.36%. Streeck pointed out that this is an
assessed maximum rate and the lethality is probably around 0.24 to 0.26% or
even below. The average age of deceased with positive infection test was
approximately 81 years.
101
Stanford professor Dr. Scott Atlas
explains in a CNN interview that We are
creating a catastrophic health care situation because of this idea of stopping
Covid-19 at all costs which is now causing people not to seek medical care for
serious and often emergency care.”
102
He said that irrational fears have been
generated because the disease is mild overall. At the end of April the
professor wrote an article entitled The data are there - Stop the panic and
end total isolation.”
103
Epidemiologist Dr. Knut Wittkowski
explains in an interview that the danger of
COVID-19 is comparable to influenza flu and the peak was already passed in
most countries before the lockdown. The lockdown of entire societies was a
catastrophic decision with no benefit but with enormous damage. The most
important measure was the protection of nursing homes.
104
Nobel Prize winner Michael Levitt
who has been working on the spread of
COVID-19 since February describes the general lockdown as a "huge
mistake" and calls for more targeted measures, especially to protect risk
groups.
105
In an interview
Dr. Pietro Vernazza,
the Swiss chief physician for infectiology,
explains that the COVID-19 disease is mild for the vast majority of people.”
To him, the number of infected people is not conclusive and more tests for
21
the general population are needed. In addition most of the people listed in
the SARS-CoV-2 statistics would not only not die from COVID-19 - the
mortality rate of COVID-19 is "in the order of magnitude of a seasonal flu",
according to current knowledge. There is no evidence for the benefit of
respirators for people who do not show any symptoms themselves.
106
Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg
is probably the most controversial expert on the
COVID-19 pandemic, besides he is a politician of the SPD. He is accused
again and again of giving wrong numbers and spreading myths.
107
,
108
,
109
He
was initiator of the Council of Europe's investigations regarding pandemic
H1N1 2009/10 (swine flu) and the role of the vaccine manufacturers as well as
the WHO. He strongly criticized the scientific approach to the pandemic. In
the TV station ARTE documentary "Profiteers of Fear", in which he
participated, it became clear that many pharmaceutical companies profited
from the pandemic and how the real or supposed pandemic threat was
handled.
110
On his website he tries to give regular updates on the current
situation.
111
Dr. Dr. Daniel von Wachter
is a philosopher of religion and director of the
International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein. His
treatise "A Philosophical Treatise on the New Coronavirus"147 provides food
for thought on how to find the truth about the effects of COVID-19. As an
expert in the search for truth, von Wachter concludes in his article "In four
steps to the truth about the New Coronavirus" that the new pathogen is not
particularly dangerous
112
and thus encourages a rethink in current politics.
113
Prof. Dr. Johannes Friemann
, Head of Pathology at the Lüdenscheid Clinic,
has no understanding for the lack of recommendations and the absence of
important decisions by the Robert-Koch-Institute. He demanded an autopsy
to determine the cause of death which the RKI did not recommend at first.
114
Only after his and other specialists' criticism the RKI recommended autopsies.
He pointed out that "we must achieve a better understanding of the cause of
death. We can continue ventilation or treatment beyond a point where there
is no way back at all. Then it is humane not to continue such a treatment
indefinitely."
115
Forensic scientist Klaus Püschel
, like Prof. Friemann, was one of the main
critics of the Robert-Koch-Institute's lack of recommendations for the autopsy
of the deceased.47 He sees COVID-19 as "a comparatively harmless viral
disease" that German citizens must learn to live with. By his autopsy results it
22
could be stated that many COVID-19 deceased had serious pre-existing
conditions. He receives support from the
child and youth psychiatrist Michael
Schulte
who states that "none of the numbers we know justifies the fear that
is being stirred up in Germany about the virus.
116
Dr. Bodo Schiffmann
is a recognized ear, nose and throat specialist and critic
of current corona measures. He has become known through his numerous
YouTube videos in which he receives high resonance and approval for his
opinion.
117
In other media however he receives less approval. His founding of
the party (Resistance 2020) met with fierce criticism and his opinion was
defamed in various news portals (cf. p. 35).
118
,
119
Professor Ferdinand Gerlach
,
MD,
Chairman of the Health Expert Council,
sees major problems with data quality in the corona pandemic.
120
In an
interview Gerlach complains that the quality of the reports from regional and
state authorities to the Robert-Koch-Institute is worse than one should think
in our country.” He has great doubts about the validity of the data on the
basis of which we are now making extremely far-reaching decisions.”
121
The experts of the National Academy of Sciences
Leopoldina have published
a third ad-hoc statement on the COVID 19 pandemic. The paper, entitled
"Coronavirus Pandemic - Overcoming the crisis sustainably", deals with the
psychological, social, legal, educational and economic aspects of the
pandemic and describes strategies that should contribute to a gradual return
to social normality.
The list of critics is longer than the list shown here. It therefore can serve as an
example only and does not represent a balanced relationship between
supporters and critics of the current SARS-CoV-2 debate. However, since the
proponents of actual measures are much more represented in the media this
list should support in giving voice to the experts with more differentiated
opinion. Further critical experts can be easily researched on the World Wide
Web
(cf. Update p. 48)
.
23
Media development
Do media distort reality?
How do media work? There is a clear answer to this question: They provide a
small section of reality in an era in which we understand ourselves as an
information society. Thus, media form the basic framework for promptly
obtaining simple and edited information. However, we often forget that
media also only reflect their own view and have an interest in profitability not
in the truth. We ourselves have not experienced the described information in
reality, but have only recognized it theoretically. Our own naive perception
shows up as trap when we either believe that we have gained a
comprehensive insight into a subject area after studying three (?) different
trade journals and now no longer need further education or when we believe
that the reporting was presented without distortion and factually. In other
words, whenever a topic is presented in the media we should keep in mind
that only a piece of the puzzle is presented, not the puzzle itself. This would
reduce (current) wars about who is right and who is wrong which look like
religious disputes.
The effects of our information society are reflected in the topic of viruses.
Everyone can publish his opinion on Internet, whether nonsense, half-truth or
fact. And our immense time pressure in our society, which is geared towards
work and consumption, leads to a lack of verification of sources. Even if the
author recommends it to everyone and wishes it, the reader of this analysis
will probably not check all sources. Besides the time factor, however, required
effort also plays an important role. Man as an efficient (economic) living being
strives to obtain knowledge as easily as possible. The citizens' interest in
sensations and scandals can be confirmed by just that observation: It must be
simple and new. In a technologized world where people have maximized
security and can easily access any information, headlines attract attention.
And what could cause more sensation than an unpredictable, invisible
opponent against whom politics, business and science are powerless?
Here is an example of a message that will probably not attract much
attention, since it is already known to humans in many ways: Dog bites
man.” An extraordinary sensational message would be the exact opposite:
Man bites dog.” The explanation of this phenomenon is provided by the
Hungarian-British writer Arthur Koestler. He showed that people think in
24
associations. For example if you think of a tree, you also associate it with
branches, plants, garden, water, etc. i.e. with related terms. On the other
hand, people think less in so called bisocations, and thus also not of license
plates, oil lamps or psychotherapy, when they think of trees. Thus, new
associationsare of interest to people and arouse their attention - basically
what is not known. Emotional involvement is also crucial. Those who believe
they know something defend their own view on our world. In the author's
book "Odyssey in the 21st Century" he referred to two well-known
psychological premises in this regard:
1. "According to the American author Bernie Siegel, everyone behaves
like an addict trying to defend his own worldview. An interesting
thought. Doesn't everyone somewhere think they have the knowledge
to be able to survive at most? Insecurity always creates fear and makes
us fear for our survival. Therefore, people cling strongly to their own
world view. It becomes particularly clear when you are part of a group
or a society that conveys that world view.
2. There is something that characterizes our faith very beautifully. The
Dunning-Kruger effect. Dunning and Kruger found out that self-
confidence mostly comes from ignorance. Incompetent people then,
more or less subconsciously, assess their own ability (competence) as
being much too high. Unfortunately, this also usually has the
consequence that the competence of other people is undermined. "If
someone is incompetent, he cannot know that he is incompetent" -
David Dunning. We inevitably suffer from our own cognitive dissonance
of the world, our belief that what we think is knowledge is the only
objective truth. “
Thus it can be stated that especially in the medial area the steering of
attention is crucial and some methods can be used for this purpose. It is
important to remember that profitability is decisive for reporting: which
company generates the most clicks is most viable in the long term. This can
also be seen in natural selection processes of living beings: In the manner of
Survival oft the Fittest.” Since this is also a competition between news
portals, it can be assumed that mass media also consciously use manipulation
techniques to win new readers. Too often, the focus is not on factual
reporting. Numerous scientists have already investigated this fact with regard
to science communication.
122
,
123
,
124
For example, in the study of Young et al.
(2001), the authors speak of the"deliberate bias in topics" of the media.
125
And shy should a magazine designed for economic efficiency rely on factual
25
reporting? Large pictures, simple text and sensational information should
serve as "eye-catchers" and can therefore appeal to every potential reader,
so that more clicks are generated, more advertising is placed, more
advertising revenue is generated, more journalists are hired to write more
exciting articles, etc. - this is reflected in the current faith struggle of the
COVID-19 topic.
Popularity of COVID-19
(Date: 17.05.2020)
Certain persons and elements (in relation to COVID-19) are found repeatedly
in the media. These include the search terms
U.S.A.
(5.6 billion results),
Italy
(213 million results) and
Spain
(78.1 million results), experts such as
Hendrik
Streeck
(291 thousand results),
Christian Drosten
(2.2 million results) and
Karl
Lauterbach
(461 thousand results), but also the
Robert-Koch-Institute
(30.9
million results) and
Reproduktionszahl
(reproduction rate) (1.38 million results),
Maskenpflicht
(obligation to wear a mask) (3.56 million results) and
Letalität
(lethality)
of SARS-CoV-2
(20 and 30 million results, respectively). Countries
such as
Sweden
(26.1 million results) and
Slovenia
(9.1 million results,
especially relevant since they declared the pandemic as over), the expert
Sucharit Bhakdi
(532 thousand results),
Wolfgang Wodarg
(182 thousand
results) and
Bodo Schiffmann
(19.2 million results - many link to the founding
of the "Resistance 2020" party, which made many negative headlines), as well
as the
Testgenauigkeit
(accuracy of PCR-testing) (41.6 thousand) and
Dunkelziffer an Infizizerten
(number of unreported cases of infected persons,
970 thousand results). Unfortunately, it is not possible to compile a
comprehensive list of reports and articles on these topics, as this would go
beyond the scope of this literature research. However, every reader can
inform himself/herself.
But why does such a picture emerge? On the surface, there seems to be a
diversity of topics. However, if one looks more closely, in terms of quality and
quantity, one can identify a specific course that promotes miscommunication
about the SARS-CoV virus. This course is supported by the public and private
media as well as by the politics. In the following psychological analysis
miscommunication of COVID-19 will be explained.
26
Media propaganda
In order to understand what happens on a communicative level, we need to
understand the psychology of media propaganda. This includes in particular
the field of mass psychology (cf. Gustave Le Bon's work "The Psychology of
the Masses").
126
Selected theses will be illustrated in this context:
* The spirit of the masses is conservative ("conservatism of the masses"),
gullible toward old, skeptical toward new ideas and ideals.
Man as a part of nature strives for economy. The urge to act arises from
dissatisfaction with one's own situation. Human security in survival (food,
eating, drinking, sleeping, security through law and order, social environment)
leads to inertia in relation to change. This also includes political responsibility
and co-determination, which is time and energy consuming. With regard to
the performance and time pressure of mass societies, there will be some
individuals who feel they belong to this purpose, but most will remain
incapable of action. In addition, there will be a kind of "mem-pool":
According to Richard Dawkins
127
, each individual brings along certain beliefs
from education and socialization (mems cf. mimetics/mime: imitate), which are
transferred to the group and then reflected in the collective. Thus, old beliefs
should always be lived before new ones are established. This automatically
leads to the defense of certain habits that result from the beliefs when new
ones are to be installed.
* The individual can rise in the masses to moral heights or fall to depths
Easy to understand using the example of influencers and celebrities: Certain
professions (musicians, actors, bloggers, etc.) create a status of popularity in
the group. In the process, the so-called fanatics ("fans") emerge, who can live
out their ideals based on the glorified personality. However, this social image
also arises for other situations: When survival is suddenly impaired, when a
virus threatens humanity, scientists become prominent (as the science
journalist Harald Lesch called it ).
128
Due to the popularity status, critics who
question the expert's messages are then added to the list of sceptics and a
religious war arises, which has little to do with science (Prof. Lesch called
people with alternative opinions "big mouths" for example). Thus, in order to
create an objective consensus, communication about scientific findings is
necessary without glorifying the scientist or the thesis itself.
27
* The masses cannot distinguish personal from factual.
As already explained, mass communication takes place mainly via the media.
A medial transmission of knowledge is always associated with cognitive
dissonance, since the narrated or asserted cannot be comprehensively
understood. Thus, there are qualitative differences in re-narration, but the
fragmentation of the medial transmission remains the same everywhere. A
holistic perception can only be evaluated as a consequence of one's own
theories and experiences. Media give the impression that truths are
conveyed. Depending on which sources are used to form opinions, emotional
conflict can arise. Not only between media with different aspects of
knowledge, but also between people who consume these media. Thus, the
following applies to the general population: A defense of media
presentations or knowledge content is an attack on one's own world view, just
as Bernie Siegel has described it (cf. p. 24). Plato would probably say: To start
with an "Argumentum Ad Hominem" (attack on the thesis of the opponent)
rather leads to the avoidance of a real discussion
(cf. p. 58, Plato’s Trivium)
.
* The formation of opinion among the masses is achieved through
transmission and imitation.
Learning happens in two different ways: Imitation (as Dawkins described how
beliefs spread) and logical reasoning. Conclusion from known fragments is
time and energy consuming. Much simpler, however, is the animalistic
imitative instinct, which every animal seems to possess in order to react
adequately to the respective environmental influences and to learn from its
parents. This kind of learning happens through the body's network of mirror
neurons.
129
"Scientists have known about the phenomenon of mirror neurons for a long
time. In the time after the discovery of this network of neurons in the brain
(Mirror Neuron System), it was often associated with the process of learning.
(...) In the meantime we know that mirror neurons are not only responsible for
learning, but that they make sociality and living together with other people
possible. Feeling and empathy play a very important role here. Language is
also learned by imitation." (Nolting, 2020)
130
Whoever learns from others through mirror neurons (even unconsciously,
because habits are also assimilated non-verbally) is dependent on these
beliefs. If someone doubts these beliefs, then that person unconsciously also
28
doubts the teacher (parents, professors, media, etc.) in his knowledge of
survival. This attack, as already explained, cannot be understood objectively,
since it automatically awakens personal memories.
* The mass easily succumbs to suggestions whose effect is comparable to
hypnosis and under certain circumstances becomes hysterical.
Today, we are particularly struggling with the effects of the last thesis from
Gustave Le Bon's work. It can easily be traced as a causal chain if one follows
the media closely. The imitation of the most influential German media (Welt,
Spiegel, Focus, t-online, Funk, Zeit etc.) leads to a psychological hostility to
alternative opinions that do not follow the mainstream media.” As a
reminder: To express a dissenting opinion is an attack on the world view of
the other person and thus arouses emotions and memories. Anna Freud (the
daughter of Sigmund Freud) has called the lack of willingness to cognitively
reassess these emotions and memories defensive mechanisms.
131
To
recognize such defense mechanisms is possible: One should remember that
persons are rarely interested in changing their own world view and thus react
with ignorance to slander, defamation or similar. The following causal chains
can illustrate this by way of example. The following dates are from 17 May
2020.
Illustration of medial power
* The case of Professor Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi
Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Infection
Epidemiology, asked Chancellor Angela Merkel in a public letter to justify the
current measures after he had presented his point of view.
132
He made it clear
that he was not pursuing an agenda, but was only interested in science. The
accompanying video received a high response and approval from the
population (2.4 million views, May 17, 2019).
The ARD has initiated a fact check ("Why Bhakdi's figures are wrong"), in
which his criticism was not specifically addressed, and other media have also
initiated smear campaigns or public defamation of the professor as a
conspiracy theorist based on his assessment.
133
,
134
Among that were
sentences like Denies the danger by the new corona virus,
Correspondingly small positive resonance finds the video up-to-date also in
29
respectable media. It is distributed by individuals and groups like the
conspiracy theorist Oliver Janich, vaccination opponent groups on Facebook,
but also the rapper Fler on Instagram. Or: In a viral YouTube video, the
physician Sucharit Bhakdi claims that the new coronavirus is no threat. His
theses are unscientific, his numbers too low. "Further defamations followed.
135
, ,
136
,
137
138
Almost all of Bhakdi's theses were ignored or defamed by the media - now
laymen accuse the renowned professor of being a conspiracy theorist and
unable to keep up with the progress of medicine. Chancellor Merkel did not
respond to the physician - but a large number of deputy media did, publicly
justifying the course of her policy.
139
,
140
,
141
,
142
,
143
,
144
,
145
The online magazine KenFM started an interview with Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi to
clarify his position: He was of the opinion that the measures taken not only
have a negative impact on people, but also have long-term consequences for
them and that the current measures against the corona virus are out of all
proportion. There were hostility towards him because of a virus whose
dangerousness was clearly deniable.
146
As early as 2016, the emeritus
professor of microbiology and infection epidemiology published a book
entitled: "Schreckgespenst Infektionen: Mythen, Wahn und Wirklichkeit
(Bugaboo Infections: Myth, delusion and reality”.
147
The video met with renewed response and Dr. Bhakdi won many people for
his position (1.1 million views, 60 thousand thumbs up, 1.5 thousand thumbs
down). Angela Merkel's balance on YouTube, however, looked different:
Either the possibility of rating was switched off (public media: Funk) or on
private media like WELT she gets 3.8 thousand thumbs up and 4 thousand
thumbs down at 690 thousand views.
148
Further defamation is visible in the media landscape (Funk, as well as private
media).
149
,
150
* Conflicting statements of SARS expert Christian Drosten
Prof. Dr. Drosten from the Charité gives daily updates on the SARS-CoV-2
virus in his podcast.
151
The scientist working at the Institute of Virology in
Berlin is one of the world's leading experts in the field of SARS viruses. Since
the virus has spread in Germany, he has received high approval from
30
scientists and colleagues, as well as from the general public (for example, a
video by chemist Mai Thi Nguyen Kim (@mailab), in which she praises Dr.
Drosten, receives 2.2 million views, 86 thousand thumbs up, 25 thousand
thumbs down
152
). He was also honored with the "Special Prize for
outstanding communication of science in the Covid19 pandemic" from the
DFG (50.000 prize money).
153
What Christian Drosten also stands out with is
his lively change of opinion.
Thesis A:
Drosten pointed out to rbb in January that there is hardly any
effective protection for the sender and receiver of a mask.
154
Thesis B:
In March, he then pointed to a new study that is supposed to prove
that masks are useful.
155
He also wrote on his Twitter account: Of course.
Masks are in short supply, that has been known for a long time. That is exactly
why they must be reserved for professions with patient contact: because that
is where they work. In public, masks work for the protection of others. So:
build them yourself or replace them with fabric.” And: Masks are a
supplement to the measures and a reminder for all of the seriousness of the
situation!On his Twitter account you can also find a mask for do-it-yourself
construction (the RKI also had contradictory statements in this regard).
156
,
157
It
is interesting to note that for decades masks were considered controversial or
critical (as mentioned above), but in the face of the current situation this
seems to have changed.
Thesis A:
Drosten criticized the virologist Hendrik Streeck in the Heinsberg
study for the assumption of a background immunity due to missing
connections: "There is simply so little explained that one does not understand
everything.
158
Thesis B:
Drosten announced that there is now the possibility of a background
immunity (as with other SARS viruses as well).
159
Thesis A:
Christian Drosten points out with his study that children are just as
big "virus-slingers" as adults and that the opening of kindergartens is not
responsible.
160
,
161
Thesis B:
Bio-statistician Leonhard Held corrected the published statistics of
Drostens study and showed that (very probably) less viruses accumulate in the
throat of children.
162
They are therefore probably less contagious than adults.
Points of criticism of Drostens study are that no statistician participated in the
study, that children were underrepresented and that the cases were not
31
examined individually, but only in age groups.
a
To the understanding: The
Heinsberg study around Streeck et al. let assume that the number of viruses in
the body have an influence on the infection happening - and actually: The
biostatistician Held noticed at Drostens study that the virus load probably
increases linearly with age. A group of international pediatricians also came
up with this assumption.
163
Conclusion: Is Prof. Drosten still the SARS expert he is considered to be and
does he still look at the subject with the sobriety of a scientist or is he now
part of the war of opinions after he declares that doctors "are putting
nonsense into the world" and says about Luc Montagnier, a French virologist
and Nobel Prize winner of 2008, that he "claims nonsense"?
164
At the very
least, it is becoming apparent that Prof. Drosten frequently changes his mind,
publishes erroneous results, makes false predictions and yet criticizes
scientists instead of engaging in public debate with them.
165
One should also
ask oneself with Christian Drosten whether his choice of words is still about
the factual communication of knowledge content or whether emotional
conflicts about the status of one's own personality are a motive (cf.
Psychology of the Masses).
* Third example: The Robert-Koch-Institute
As was shown by the Google search results, the RKI has been given a special
place in the COVID-19 pandemic (30 million search results). As a central
institution of the Federal Government in the field of disease surveillance and
prevention, it is thus crucial for political action. But also at the RKI
contradictory opinions can be found, as well as mistakes that are revealed by
the COVID-19 events.
Thesis A:
The lynchpin of the Robert-Koch-Institute during the COVID-19
pandemic is, as chairman Lothar Wiehler announced, that the reproduction
rate is below 1. Then it would also be possible to discuss easing the
measures.
166
Thesis B:
After the reproduction number was below 1 in May, the RKI
announced that the reproduction number was not representative because the
a
The author notes that Prof. Drostens criticism of the Heinsberg study was
particularly popular in the media, whereas hardly any errors were reported in
the in-house study.
32
cases were still increasing and now a new value was necessary to correct
measurement inaccuracies.
167
Media such as SWR previously announced: "As
long as the value is clearly below 1, new infections will decrease.
168
A
confusion of the population is preprogrammed by this kind of
miscommunication.
Thesis A:
For the reproduction number, the average of all infected people is
decisive - not the number of actually infected persons.
Thesis B:
The number of infected people does not give any insight into the
lethality of an infectious disease, but the number of sick persons indicates
this.
169
Thus, the reproduction number is irrelevant for the lethality
(dangerousness of a pathogen).
Thesis A:
In the case of corona deaths, autopsies should not be used to
determine whether someone died with COVID-19 or whether they died of
COVID-19.
170
Thesis B:
The
consequence is that the exact lethality could not be determined
based on the RKI's recommendation that an autopsy is not necessary.
171
Thesis A:
Lothar Wiehler states that it is not necessary to wear masks in
public.47
Thesis B:
The RKI has (since April 2020) held the political opinion that masks
are appropriate and helpful in the current situation.
172
The Robert-Koch-Institute also lost credibility during the corona crisis. So far,
Lothar Wiehler has been of the opinion that a nationwide compulsory
vaccination is not necessary. It therefore remains to be seen whether his
opinion will hold.
173
* Example 4: Minister of Health Jens Spahn
The banker and health minister Jens Spahn has shown during the Corona
crisis and even before that he changes his mind frequently. Spahn also
polarizes by partly radical views that massively interfere with the right to self-
determination.
Thesis A:
Jens Spahn believes that "forced happiness" in the health sector is
unnecessary - in fact, he would like to see an informed decision about health
policy among citizens (2013).
174
33
Thesis B:
Spahn introduced the vaccination requirement for childhood
diseases and imposed sanctions in the event of non-compliance.
175
Thesis A:
The Minister of Health pointed out (2020) that although corona
disease is not negligible, influenza is at least as bad due to mortality (up to
25.000 death cases per year).
176
Thesis B:
A document proves that the dangerousness of SARS-CoV-2 was
initially significantly "underestimated" and tackled 78 days too late.
177
Other
countries, such as Vietnam, reacted in time.
178
Thesis A:
The Minister of Health pleads for the introduction of an immunity
card to verify COVID-19 infection. After criticism on the part of the population
and politicians like SPD leader Saskia Esken he puts this request on ice.
179
,
180
Thesis B:
A
few days later: Jens Spahn pleads for the immunity card again and
ignores his own statements and the criticism made by politicians.
181
The Minister of Health in particular should lead by example. Even if the bank
clerk is not an expert in the field of health, he should still bring evidence-
based facts to the public. Several examples, such as the false presentation of
figures
182
, the lack of distance from other people despite political guidelines
(with the following legal actions from citizens
183
) and the incorrect use of
masks, show that Jens Spahn contributed to the miscommunication in the
health policy of SARS-CoV-2.
184
The sentence of Jens Spahn in the German
Bundestag "We will have to forgive a lot" raises the question how many
mistakes in politics can be tolerated.
185
Potential for conflict in the media
The number of contradictory opinions of politicians and scientists is long,
even longer than the author could list. Nevertheless, opinions that do not
correspond to the current political discourse are hostile to the media and
ignored by politicians. The disinterest in the opinions of a large number of
experts who have expressed their views on this topic simply shows the gross
negligence in presenting the current situation in a factual and sober manner.
What intention could be behind this is irrelevant for this analysis.
From a psychological point of view, this miscommunication could be caused
by conscious or unconscious reasons. The following psychological analysis
rather advocates the conscious ignorance and defamation of expert opinions
in politics and the media. The book: “Feindbilder Psychologie der
34
Dämonisierung” (Bogeyman - Psychology of Demonization) by Haim Omer
has a key chapter for understanding why politics and news show such
behavior:
The inner logic of demonization leads to a growing willingness to cause and
endure harm. It is seen as a necessary price that must be paid for the defeat
of the enemy. Sometimes the extent of demonization and escalation reaches
such an aggravation that both parties are not only made to accept the
possibility of destroying the enemy, but even to accept their own.
186
From this analysis it becomes clear that every conflict arises from the
demonization of the enemy. Only when you no longer identify yourself with
your opponent and then devalue your opinion, a situation in which potential
for escalation arises. Those who do not tolerate other opinions, but fight
against them, have no interest in peace, but in war and destruction. The
following example around the controversial Dr. Bodo Schiffmann clearly
shows this fact.
* Party "Resistance 2020" around Dr. Bodo Schiffmann
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ear, nose and throat specialist
Bodo Schiffmann ("Schwindelambulanz Sinsheim") published several
YouTube videos to describe his point of view based on the data available.
187
He also tried to educate about the propaganda of political measures.
188
The
doctor demanded the resignation of banker Jens Spahn as Minister of Health
and announced that he would found a party (Resistance 2020) to fight against
the current measures.
Similar to Prof. Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, various large news portals initiated fact
checks to defame the doctor. His opinion seemed undesirable in this
matter.
189
Some portals speak in the following emotional and derogatory
wording:
It's really not possible that I've spent the third day here laboriously tinkering
with this fact check, spending hours researching things about a text or a
sharepic that people who don't have a clue about Corona looked at for 5
seconds and then shared. So far it should be more than clear that this is a
cheap, sloppily compiled list without any meaning. Serious doctors who have
moderate objections based on research results are lumped together with
35
decided non-experts who have never done any research on the topic of
Corona and who create nonsense for clicks and money.” (Volksverpetzer)
190
Further denunciation campaigns were launched after the founding of the
Resistance 2020 party. These included the public media (Funk), such as ARD,
which saw the party as a diffuse reservoir of conspiracy theorists, right-wing
populists, left-wing anti-vaccination opponents, but also unsettled citizens -
which was dangerous.”
191
Further accusations with negative connotations
followed.
192
,
193
The commentary by Rainald Becker
194
,
195
editor-in-chief of ARD,
brought this conflict to a climax: he described the supporters of the
Resistance 2020 party as nutcases and scatterbrains and defended
Chancellor Angela Merkel as a strong leader.81 The video has been deleted
from the Tagesschau website and censored on YouTube channels a few days
after publishing.
To establish a consensus was apparently not in the interest of the media, so
that further accusations, such as the announcement of wrong membership
numbers, were made (without necessary justification).
Summary
It is clear that both, public and private media, have commissioned journalists
to defame experts. It should be remembered that searching for information
on the internet is no substitute for expertise - only complementary experience
and theory can help to create a holistic picture of the context. The numerous
experts listed (cf. p. 19 f.) can provide a valuable assessment, as they have
theory and years of experience in their fields. Journalists do not have this.
Nevertheless, they defame these experts and use terms with conspicuously
frequent negative connotations, such as "conspiracy theorist," "populist" or
"corona denier," so that the experts' theses are rejected and doubted by the
population even without justification.
Due to hostility from the media towards scientists and also among
themselves, a conciliatory discussion seems no longer possible. This
aggravates the demonization of people with differing opinions. For example,
the philosopher of religion Dr. Dr. Daniel von Wachter (Professor of
Philosophy and Director of the International Academy of Philosophy in the
Principality of Liechtenstein), in his publication "A Philosophical Investigation
of the New Corona Virus" (April 9, 2020), admonished the "blinkered
36
thinking" that is increasingly blocking the possibility of a scientific
investigation of SARS-CoV-2. When scientists have to fear for their reputation
because of denunciations in the media, there is no longer an important
diversity of opinions.
196
Obviously, a one-way street is being created, which corresponds to the
current measures of politics. Thereby, criticism is to be evaluated as
unwanted. This can be seen not only in the ignorance towards alternative
scientific opinions, but also in the defamation with psychological methods. In
this context the work of the German psychologist Prof. Dr. Rainer Mausfeld is
necessary for understanding. His hypotheses are similar to those of Gustave
Le Bons. Exemplary:
"Mass leaders and mass ideas are charismatized (charged by nimbus or
prestige) under certain circumstances. “
The consequences of the COVID 19 debate are plain to see. Currently,
psychological methods of the media are used to defame alternative opinions.
This impression is confirmed by scientific literature research and expert
opinions on the pandemic. Out of the conflict that the pandemic is not
subject to factual reporting, the author now tries to deduce the social
consequences. In doing so, it is important that citizens become aware of their
cognitive bias and communicate openly about the issue.
37
The social structure
The initial question of the chapter is now: Is there an interest in deliberately
distorting reports? To do this, we must examine the theses of the
aforementioned psychologist Prof. Dr. Rainer Mausfeld and draw conclusions
about the current situation.
Prof. Dr. Rainer Mausfeld's politics of fear
In his books and lectures (exemplary: "Why do the lambs remain silent")
197
Prof. Dr. Mausfeld holds the opinion that the elite (elitist class of the ruling
class, called aristocracy or nobility in history) rules over the citizens and uses
certain manipulation techniques to enforce this power (in the sense of
authority).
198
The famous philosopher David Hume pointed out that power
comes from the people.
199
Mausfeld tries to falsify Hume’s theory for our
modern and democratic times.
A decisive strategy in this respect is to create fear and panic and to set a
unified course, in which the prevailing opinion is presented as the only
possible solution. This includes all means of defaming alternative opinions:
Exploitation of verbal superstition and use of selective filters (methods of
framing & priming) by the media, which, according to Mausfeld, have a
central role to play in stabilizing the ruling system (representative democracy
or "electoral oligarchy", as he calls it). Moreover, citizens would be flooded
with fragments of information. The stigmatization of certain groups is also
decisive in this regard: Whether right-wing populist, anti-semitic, left-wing
esoteric or populist, the classification of population groups with the help of
derogatory terms creates divisions and causes wars on certain opinions.
200
Interestingly enough, the professor emeritus was doomed by his own theses:
He was dismissed as a populist scientist by various press agencies, news
portals and science journalists, despite the fact that he is a recognized
scientist. You may think what you like about the extreme theses of Prof. Dr.
Mausfeld, but one thing has become clear in the course of the COVID-19
pandemic: Since the publication of the strategy paper of the
Bundesministerium des Innern (Federal Ministry of the Interior) on how to deal
with COVID-19, his main thesis has been confirmed. The policy tries to push
through the measures to COVID-19 with fear and not to inform through
38
factual reporting. For Mausfeld, the confidence in the population by the
policy seems to be completely missing. And if his main thesis could be
confirmed by the wording from the strategy paper of the BMI, his other
theories, which result from the problem of the reign of fear, are also
validatable.
The failures of the policy
Literally, the strategy paper says:
"Clarify worst case! We have to get away from a communication that is
centered on the case mortality rate. (...) To achieve the desired shock effect,
the concrete effects of an infestation on human society must be made clear:
Many seriously ill people are taken to hospital by their relatives, but are
turned away, and die agonizingly struggling for air at home. Suffocation or
not getting enough air is a primal fear of everyone. The situation in which
nothing can be done to help relatives who are in mortal danger is also a
primal fear. The pictures from Italy are disturbing.” Bundesministerium des
Innern, 2020)
201
These insistent words illustrate the intentions of the Bundesministerium des
Innern to deliberately present the pandemic as definitely more dangerous as
it is. It is not a matter of trust, of cohesion, of communicating scientific
content, but of aggravating the situation. As a result, the hypothesis of factual
reporting by politicians is no longer valid. The publication of a document by
an employee of the Bundesministerium des Innern also contributes to the
verdict on this representation. On 86 pages, he explains why COVID-19 is to
be classified as a false alarm and that the consequences for society are
immense.
202
,
203
This thesis was agreed upon with experts such as Dr. Sucharit
Bhakdi, pathologist Peter Schirmacher and psychologist Harald Walach. Since
publication it is known that the employee is no longer allowed to exercise his
office. But if so many experts agree, how is such ignorance of critical scientists
in politics even possible?
204
Shouldn't there be at least one expert council
where discussions take place in public?
Criticism from the population has also been growing louder for several
months. An intensive care physician published a video on Youtube (May 12th,
2020) to share his experience in dealing with COVID-19 and to express
criticism of current political measures ("Intensive Care Physician - Facts,
39
Opinion and Questions on Dealing with the Corona - Situation"). In the
meantime the video has been deleted and is uploaded again and again by
concerned people. Further indications of the criticism from the population are
evident from articles in the Berliner Zeitung, Zeit and FAZ.
205
,
206
Critics are still
being ridiculed:
"The mood is tilting: A colorful bunch of leftists, rightists, vaccination
opponents, conspiracy theorists, and stray bourgeois protest against the
Corona restrictions. Perhaps this is only the beginning.
207
Presentation of critics
Representation of critics in the media, title:
Protest - Among enlightened ones.
Source: Düsseldorfer
Anzeiger (May 15, 2020).
208
From a psychological perspective, it is understandable why the population in
Germany protests. Recommendations are made that, without evidence and
40
comprehensibility, plunge people into dissatisfaction and weaken the immune
system: Contact bans, staying at home, wearing masks and restricting public
life. But this is by far not the only thing: Many German citizens are threatened
in their existence: 2.1 million Germans are facing ruin - for more than 10
million Germans short-time work has been announced.
209
,
210
And many people
who do not want to put up with this are then defamed with derogatory terms.
From the author's initial remarks it became clear that the immune system also
plays a major role in the processing and defense of viruses. This is precisely
why old and immunocompromised people are so severely affected by
COVID-19. This is where our care should start. We should not spread fear, but
create a comprehensive catalog that all people can use as a guide to
strengthen their health and immunity. Nutrition also plays an important role in
COVID-19.
211
Unfortunately this is not communicated enough. Here it would
be desirable for politicians to make recommendations to the citizens.
Primarily, however, politics has another task: Namely that of immediately
lifting disproportionate measures, because otherwise there is a threat of a
food crisis, as the UN announced. The article: UN fear Hungersnöte
biblischer Ausmaße” (famines of biblical proportions) by ZDF quoting David
Beasley, head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP):
The WFP chief cited recent figures showing that 135 million people
worldwide are suffering from acute food shortages. In addition, another 130
million would be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of the year by
the consequences of the Corona crisis. Without humanitarian aid from the
United Nations, 300,000 people could starve to death daily over a three-
month period, Beasley said.
212
It should also be clear to politicians: 130 million dying people by 2021 is far
more than the previous 312 thousand deaths with (not because of) SARS-CoV-
2 worldwide. These likely death rates are due to the consequences of the
damage to the economy caused by the lockdown. It remains to be seen
whether the UN appeal will be heard by politicians.
The critical citizen should keep in mind: A system functions through
hierarchical authority. The highest authority in every country is held by the
leadership (state government), to which the population must adhere.
However, this leadership usually does not consist of experts (this is also
evident from the learned professions of politicians in certain offices). As a rule,
politicians are elected as deputies by a power struggle within the party and
41
by sympathy for the people. These two criteria make it possible that no
professional expertise is required. For example, it is evident from Health
Minister Jens Spahn (trained banker), the German drug commissioners or
defense ministers that no technical expertise is required and that it is
apparently not needed, because an opinion can also be obtained from other
technical experts. But that leaves one question open: How do one choose an
opinion if one has no expertise in the respective field? Here, one has no other
option than to trust certain experts. However, if it becomes obvious that the
economy, society and the environment are being damaged, then insight can
be expected from politicians even without expertise.
Furthermore, it can be considered critical that the attention in the media
completely shifted to COVID-19. This reduces the protest against other laws
like the increase of the catalog of fines and the weighing up of the
introduction of the mobile phone standard 5G.
213
,
214
A study by Di Ciaula says
about 5G:
" In this evolving scenario, although the biological effects of 5G
communication systems are very scarcely investigated, an international action
plan for the development of 5G networks has started, with a forthcoming
increment in devices and density of small cells, and with the future use of
millimeter waves (MMW). Preliminary observations showed that MMW
increase skin temperature, alter gene expression, promote cellular
proliferation and synthesis of proteins linked with oxidative stress,
inflammatory and metabolic processes, could generate ocular damages,
affect neuro-muscular dynamics."
215
The lower mobile phone standard 4G is also classified by the WHO as
potentially carcinogenic.
216
Since 5G works on a much higher frequency
range, safety must be clearly proven before it is introduced.
217
,
218
Such issues
should also be addressed during the pandemic and be dealt with in
consultation and communication with citizens by politics.
But let's return to the basic question of this scientific-analysis: Is actual
education about the virus desirable? Apparently there is a lot of confusion
around the current topic COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, which also leads to
negligence in other areas of politics, as can be seen in the critical introduction
of the mobile phone standard 5G. This work does not pursue the goal to
formulate irrational accusations, but facts to reveal the deliberate
miscommunication of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2. In the following you will
42
find a list of reasons for this thesis. Enclosed you will find recommendations
for the further handling of COVID-19. The proofs are mainly found in the
preceding explanations.
Conclusion
o The German government initiates measures such as the lockdown and
the obligation to wear masks without a proven scientific basis.
o Politicians completely misjudged the virus.
o The Bundesmininsterium des Innern has produced a strategy paper to
spread panic because of SARS-CoV-2.
o The Robert-Koch-Institute does not determine the actual mortality and
morbidity because no recommendations for autopsy were made from
the beginning and the reproduction rate has recently been changed (it
has been too inaccurate since the drop >1, although all previous
measures were imposed because of this rate).
o Comparisons of mortality in 2020 (prepared by Professor Stefan
Homburg, Director of the Institute of Public Finance at Leibniz
Universität Hannover) with previous years do not allow any conclusions
to be drawn about a general increase in mortality in the 2020 flu
season.
219
o The Bundesministerium des Innern dismisses a member of staff
(Stephan Kohn) when he presents a report on the analysis of COVID-19,
86 pages long, in consultation with experts, which is why the pandemic
must be interpreted as a false alarm.
o Public and private media support the course of politics and defame
experts.
o Alternative crisis management, such as in Sweden, is ignored despite
the countless consequences of a lockdown.
220
o The own errors about the delayed reaction by politics are not admitted.
o The delayed reaction to the virus is compensated by extreme measures,
such as the immunity card, the debate about compulsory vaccination,
contact tracking via app and contact bans.
o Alternative opinions of citizens are not tolerated in the media, but
defamed - the politicians' course is largely appreciated.
o The basic rights are temporarily restricted, which several legal experts
regard as critical (e.g. Prof. Härting, the constitutional lawyer Herms,
etc.)
221
,
222
,
223
,
224
,
225
,
226
and lawyers (e.g. Beate Bahner) accused in the
form of summary proceedings.
227
43
o Super-rich people like Jeff Bezos (assets of about 145 billion) are
profiting from the crisis by redistributing social wealth. With Amazon,
he made 10 billion dollars profit in 10 days in March and abruptly hired
100,000 new employees.
228
o For illnesses, which many researchers meanwhile also regard as
pandemic, such as cardiovascular diseases, overweight, malnutrition
and many more, no aid packages in the high billion range have been
made available so far, although the number of deaths is extremely far
above that of COVID-19 cases and is now presumably becoming even
worse.
229
,
230
o Tax losses of 100 billion euros are also causing further financial
problems in the Federal Republic of Germany that will be compensated
through German taxpayers.
231
o According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the current corona
crisis is also an extreme financial crisis and could cost many people their
lives due to famine.
232
In conclusion:
The consequences for the economy, society and the
environment are still unknown, can already be considered invaluable and are
in no relation to the rescue of the COVID-19 deceased. Also the meta-
database on scientific knowledge about COVID-19 by independent experts
"Swiss Policy Research" comes to similar results, which the author arrived at
after his literature and media research: They estimate the general risk of
lethality at 0.2% (twenty times lower than assumed by the WHO), over 95% of
the persons show mild symptoms, up to one third of all persons have a
background immunity, the age of the deceased is on average over 80 and
often it is not clear whether the deceased really died of COVID-19.77
Recommendations for society:
What the author hopes to gain from this scientific analysis is insight into the
deadlocked course of politics, which has no justification. Insight into the
stiffening of a course that Prof. Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi also recognizes and
describes as self-destructive. Insight into the conflict and the crisis of faith that
this topic has caused in the population, which has led to many hostilities
among each other. And also insight into current measures and the
strengthening of factors that are really important, such as strengthening the
immune system and a collective, non-judgmental debate.
44
What also moved the author was the statement of a person in the social
media network Instagram, where it was claimed that the rise of the Nazi
regime's hate crimes was made possible by conspiracy theories. Let it be
clearly and emphatically stated: Criticism is not equal to conspiracy theories
and conspiracy theories are not equal to hate crimes! The Nazi-regime was
able to assert itself because people
believed in the positive intentions
that
were induced. If the people really want to have an influence on the averting
of such a totalitarian state, they have to stand up for freedom and peace over
and over again. This is especially true in two areas:
The dissemination of
information through the media and political measures
. As long as there is a
belief spread upon society that something fascist like the Nazi-regime is not
possible anymore, it will happen again someday, because of the
misapprehension of one’s own arrogance.
Currently, the media are reporting that, despite the lack of scientific evidence,
the measures are becoming increasingly stronger, even if the contact bans
and restrictions on public life are being relaxed
(cf. p. 48, Update)
. In
particular the deprivation of liberty rights by the missing proof that no
infection with COVID-19 is present, is in the discussion. Such developments
are to be classified as questionable from the ethical point of view (the
scientific discipline around human morality). First regulations concerning
special permissions are already recognizable by "point systems" at schools in
Germany. The psychologist Thilo Hartmann publicly criticized this:
With the points, two groups of students who are visibly not equal to each
other are opened up. One is clearly superior to the other by the special rules.
This can question the self-esteem of students without a green dot and
provoke rivalry between the groups.”
233
Also in the German policy there are already such considerations with the
COVID-19 application. Who does not contribute to the tracing of infection
chains by his data, could soon be disadvantaged in his freedom. Especially
the EU-politician Axel Voss supports this proposal.
234
,
235
Also the idea of a
shackle for "Corona-App deniers" was already made by the CDU member of
the Neustadt state parliament Dirk Heber.
236
India and China are the first
countries to implement such extreme measures in reality and show how
people can be restricted in their rights, if they do not obey the current
political position on COVID-19. The COVID-19 App is already mandatory in
these countries. The Süddeutsche reports on China's digital dictatorship
and that the contact tracking app determines whether a Chinese citizen is
45
allowed to leave the house or not.
237
The Tagesschau writes about the current
situation in India:
Because anyone who is employed by a private company or in the civil service
is obliged to download the app to their smartphone. Otherwise, company
bosses could face penalties, fines or even imprisonment.
238
From a democratic point of view, such a development would be considered
insufficient without prior comprehensive discussion and consultation with the
citizens of Germany. However, the initial ideas of politicians show that this
reality is within reach, despite ethical reprehensibility. Because of its primary
task of finding the truth, science has a share of the responsibility for
objections to such developments. The imminent restriction of democratic
freedom by the current COVID-19 politics leads at the same time also to the
restriction of science, because science has to follow the political guidelines.
However, as can currently be seen, politics does not have to adhere to
science. Illustrating the following model could improve the risk management
of COVID-19, by a comprehensive communication with all actors of the
society.
This model serves to illustrate optimized crisis management. The media are the central hub for
communication. As soon as the media cause confusion in society, inadequate crisis management in
politics results.
46
The relative harmlessness of the COVID-19 pathogen in Germany should be
communicated comprehensively and factually by science journalists in the
media and should lead to no restrictions on freedom. However, every citizen
should also be able to participate in this debate without fear of being
defamed and stigmatized. The Deutscher Ethikrat (German Ethics Council) has
come to a similar conclusion, calling on the German government to conduct a
broader debate on the effects of corona measures and to include social
aspects. The chairman of the Ethics Council called communication during the
crisis capable of improvement.”
239
,
240
The key role of the media in the COVID-19 debate is illustrated by the conflict
potential in the news about the allegation of spreading conspiracy theories at
demonstrations, which are often only peaceful protests against current
policies. There are always people who display extreme practices and disturb
the social peace. However, the large number of people who gather at
demonstrations are peace-loving.
241
,
242
,
243
,
244
These citizens just want to be
heard in their opinions. And in the future, this impression should be captured
and expressed in the media - not those people who spread
hatred.
245
,
246
,
247
,
248
,
249
,
250
Only individual citizens are aggressive and spread
extreme theses - to conclude that the demonstration has escalated, however,
is completely unobjectively. It is less helpful for peace in society, if pictures
are shown in which the police in armor is running up (BILD, 17.05.2020).
251
And if the headline reads: "In Berlin, 1000 police officers are on duty - In
Munich, people are being carried away", the author must ask again: What
impression should this give to society?
In a ZDF television report of May 16 ("Protest against Corona measures -
thousands demonstrate in several cities") it becomes clear that many citizens
think that the media deliberately want to create conflicts and that most
people are peaceful. However, the title of the video was not named
accordingly, but rather: "In protest against the corona restrictions, new
alliances are forming between anti-vaccination activists, conspiracy theorists
and other radicals from different spectrums. Observers are reminded of the
Pegida demonstrations, especially since worried ordinary citizens are also
participating.”
252
The example of ZDF shows that media, whether public
(Funk) or private, evaluate people objectively, stigmatize them and then
publicly "lump them together" (generalize). The NDR has also published a
similar video ("Corona: Between Criticism and Conspiracy Theory").
253
With
such stigmatizing videos, the following perception can then arise
subconsciously in the general population:
47
"conspiracy theorist" = "right" = "anti-semitic" = "hate"
This kind of opinion-forming ("framing" = selective information filtering) is
ethically questionable, because it leads to a distancing from each other and is
nourished by conflicts and ambiguities among each other. The Tagesschau
(Funk), as the last example, with its contribution "Bishops spread conspiracy
theories" deliberately aggravated this conflict by extrapolating the clergy's
concern by accusing "this protest threatens to turn anti-semitic" and "what
alarms us is the attempt of extremists to hijack the protests."
254
At the same
time, this derivation is clearly misleading, since in such a contribution without
corresponding evidence it serves only to defame. The anti-semitism and
extremism mentioned in this context does not originate from any factual
reporting and has no place in this article.
The author would therefore like to appeal to the conscience and appreciation
of modern society: We are all human beings, we do not belong in any
category, we should be allowed to express criticism without being denounced
and try to build a consensus between different opinions. Whether "left" or
"right" is irrelevant in the context of far-reaching social measures. Or, as the
historian and researcher of freedom Daniele Ganser calls it: “We all belong to
the family tree of humankind.”
255
The author wishes that social cohesion will
be strengthened in the future and that all people who have an opinion will be
heard without condemnation. And, in particular, that in the interests of the
welfare of society in Germany and worldwide, an interdisciplinary and
comprehensive council of experts should be introduced for crisis issues to
advise policymakers.
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits (Matthew 7:15-20)
15
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but
inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
16
You will know them by their fruits. Do
men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17
Even so, every
good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18
A good tree
cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19
Every tree that
does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20
Therefore by
their fruits you will know them.
48
Update
1st of November, 2020:
While translating my analysis from German to English, I had the idea to give a
short update of the current situation in Germany.
The typical influenza season runs from the 40th calendar week to the 20th
calendar week of the new year. During these weeks, the number of viral
infections increases enormously, so that the influenza report of the Robert
Koch Institute no longer appears only monthly, but weekly.
256
In 2020, the
40th calendar week began on October 4, 2020, and SARS-CoV-2 infections
also started to rise cyclically from this point on. On October 15, 2020, the
number of SARS-CoV-2 infections reached its highest level since the
beginning of the tests. On October 22, 2020, the number of infections
exceeded 10.000 for the first time (11.287 to be precise). Since then, the
number of new infections has varied between 10.000 and 20.000. Still, it has
to be reflected that the test capacity rose as well (from 7.115 in KW 11 to
272.397 in KW44).
257
Source: Wikipedia COVID-19 pandemic data, 2020
258
49
The increasing focus of the German media and politics on the number of new
infections has led to an increasing dramatization of the situation. This is not an
argument about the trivialization of COVID-19, but one for the actually
measurable effects (illnesses, deaths, consequential damages) of the
infections as a central characteristic value for the outcome of this pandemic.
However, since the measurable acute damage of the pandemic has
increasingly been out of the political spotlight and the focus has now shifted
to the rising number of infections, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Federal Minister
Presidents and their advisors raised the necessity of a renewed lockdown in
Germany on November 2, 2020, which should contribute to flattening the
curve of new infections.
259
Although the document you are reading is not political statement, it needs to
be stated that many politicians strongly critized this decision.
260
,
261
,
262
Wolfgang Kubicki, Vice President of Bundestag, even appealed for filing a suit
against this political but from his point of view legally not tenable decision.
263
This decision was made by Merkel without agreement of the parliament in
German Bundestag. Therefore, Kubicki argued: “The decisions remain of such
a remarkable contradiction that the only question is when the first court
overrules, and not if.”
264
However, what should be more of interest is the scientific view about the
effects of this decision. One must reflect the long-term consequences of this
decision. The second lockdown is used by the politics to “break the wave” of
new infections without balanced regard to actual COVID-19-situation.
Therefore at any time the number of infections can be declared to be too
high for top politicians like Chancellor Angela Merkel, which consequently
could justify new lockdowns, even though increases actually are typical for
influenza season. What politicians do not consider by this view of pandemics
is that the virus could be less harmful than in the beginning
.
265
As one can see, the misinformation and confusion of the population by media
and politics did not stop although everybody should know the factual impact
of fear on mental and physical health due to pandemics. However, the list of
criticists of lockdown-policies and its long-term damage, including Deutsches
Netzwerk für Evidenzbasierte Medizin e.V.
266
, the National Bureau of
Economic Research (NBER)
267
, the institute for German economy (IW)
268
,
leaders of health authorities and others, got much
longer.
269
,
270
,
271
,
272
,
273
,
274
,
275
,
276
,
277
Below you will find a translated quote of the
50
Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (National Association of Statutory Health
Insurance Physicians), with the help of Prof. Dr. Hendrik Streeck, Prof. Dr.
Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit and 32 supportive organizations and associations:
“… Going back to lockdowns with the the hope of reducing the number of
infections could be the reflex consequence of this. But we have learned a lot
in the months of the pandemic. The reduction in case numbers is an urgent
political task, but not at any price. We are already experiencing the failure to
provide other urgent medical treatment, serious side effects in children and
young people due to social deprivation and disruptions in education and
vocational training, the decline of entire branches of the economy, many
cultural institutions and increasing social imbalance as a result. …”
278
Although a new lockdown could be fatal, the German policy is aiming “to
interrupt the infection dynamics quickly so that no far-reaching restrictions are
necessary during the Christmas period.”
279
The restrictions for public life will
be set from the 2nd of November, 2020. Even the World Health Organizations
Director-General Dr. David Nabarro did an about-turn, when he said in an
interview with the Spectator: “We really do appeal to all world leaders: stop
using lockdown as your primary control method.“
280
And the European
director of WHO, Hans Kluge, agreed to this view on the 29th of October,
2020, while pointing out the economic side effects of new lockdowns.
281
But it
seems that the German policy is not aware about the long-term cost of the
lockdown and warnings from renowned experts.
Another point of contention in terms of long-term damage is the current
debate about the mouth-nose-regulations. The most important work was
carried out in June/July 2020 by psychologist Daniela Prousa. In her study:
“Studie zu psychologischen und psychovegetativen Beschwerden durch die
aktuellen Mund-Nasenschutz-Verordnungen in Deutschland”, she examined
the psychological and psychovegetative complaints of mouth-nose-
protections in a sample size of n=1010 in Germany. The results are quiet
astonishing:
The fact that approx. 60% of the people who are clearly burdened with the
prescriptions already experience severe (psychosocial) consequences, such as
a greatly reduced participation in life in society due to aversion-related efforts
to avoid MNS [mouth and nose cover], withdrawal from social life, reduced
health self-care (up to avoiding doctor's appointments) or the intensification
of existing health problems (post-traumatic stress disorders, herpes,
51
migraines), exceeded all expectations of the examiner. The results urge a very
timely examination of the benefit-harm ratio of the MNS prescriptions.“
(Daniela Prousa, 2020)
282
Still, politics, media and scientists like Dr. Christian Drosten
283
and Prof. Dr.
Dr. Karl Lauterbach
284
promote wearing mouth-nose-protections in the
general population, although there is no appropriate evidence, that
asymptomatic adults and children are infectious or that mouth-nose-covers
will change anything about it. After Klaus Reinhardt, president of the
Bundesärztekammer (federal medical association) doubted the benefit of
community-masks, Karl Lauterbach demanded his resignation.
285
But there are
even more emotional statements from Karl Lauterbach especially in terms of
consequential damages. Despite the fact that influenza and other viruses
cause consequential damages as well
286
, Lauterbach used the study
“Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19 relative to
controls: An N=84,285 online study” from the Imperial College in London for
his argumentation, although it is not even peer-reviewed.
287
In the talkshow
Markus Lanz and on his twitter account he used this study to affirm his
belief.
288
,
289
Scientifically reviewed, this can be seen as admissible, because
there are no other studies confirming this results. Therefore, more research is
necessary to confirm Lauterbach’s statements. But these kinds of prematurely
conclusions are very common in German politics as one can see.
The measures by the German policy, such as wearing clothing masks in
pedestrian zones and closing or restricting restaurants and bars at late times
(11pm)
290
, are not only unproven, but also need to be questioned. The
confusion through different measures and kinds of lockdowns every day or
every week need to stop in order to reduce potentially harmful mental effects
for society (as mentioned above). We still have no evidence of a higher death
rate (10 month prevalence) of 2020 compared to the years of 2019 or 2018.
Death cases with SARS-CoV-2 (not because of) in comparison to other
illnesses are an “also-ran” respectively are not striking elevated.
52
Source: Source: Statista, 20th of October, 2020.
291
5.472
470.032
4.359
484.840
0
100.000
200.000
300.000
400.000
500.000
600.000
Ocotber, 20, 2020 Died with SARS-CoV-2** 2018
Overall death cases by gender in Germany (2018) in contrast to SARS-
CoV-2 (2020) [10 month prevalence]
Männer Frauen
53
**Who dies
with
SARS-CoV-2, but not
because of
SARS-CoV-2, is still counted as a corona-dead in
Germany. Although the death rate with SARS-CoV-2 (10 month prevalence) in contrast to other
causes (12 month prevalence) is quiet low, there is confirmation bias in the politics about the overall
danger of SARS-CoV-2 for the population. Source: Statista, 20th of October 2020.
292
There is so much debate about what could be done to avoid infection that
psychological and economic well-being of the population completely got out
of the mind of politically-active scientists like Drosten or Lauterbach. We as
society should not care about the infection rate in first place. That is also what
epidemiologist Gerard Krause told the German media Dlf.264 While the
German society for Virology concerns about the natural way of immunization
with SARS-CoV-2, we can now see that Swedens special way pays off.
293
The
infection rates in Sweden might increase (because of testing capacities and
the weather), but the death rates of victims with SARS-CoV-2 are since the
29th of July, 2020, lower than 5 deaths per day. Although Anders Tegnell, the
Swedish state virologist, was not convinced of the concept of herd immunity
(“Striving for herd immunity is neither ethical nor otherwise justifiable. Even if
younger people have less severe disease and die less often, it can still happen
[…]”)
294
, there might be seen some benefits about it in the overall statistics.
Here, the author wants to remind once more that radical measures against
SARS-CoV-2 have severe side effects, such as higher suicide rates, traumata
and psychological damage especially for children, who are barely effected.
Furthermore higher fear and depression rates and postponing necessary
surgeries.
295
,
296
,
297
,
298
Using herd immunity and improving the protection of risk
groups might be the best solution to minimize long-term damage.
157.282
128.749
38.253
24.509 21.904 21. 726 18.868 17.548 15.596
11.004
5.472
187.992
109.596
33.466
17.045 19.170
36.327
13.725 17.279 19. 044 13.715
4.359
0
20.000
40.000
60.000
80.000
100.000
120.000
140.000
160.000
180.000
200.000
Circ ula tory
system
dise ases (I00-
I99)
Neoplasms
(C0 0-D48)
Resp irato ry
Diseases (J00-
J99)
Inj ur ies,
poisoning,
other exter nal
caus es (S 00-
T98)
Digestive
system
dise ases (K00-
K93)
Mental and
behavioral
disorders
(F00- F99)
Symptoms not
further
cl assi fied (R 00-
R99)
Nervous
system
dise ases (G00-
H95)
Endocrine,
nutritional and
metabolic
dise ases (E00-
E90)
Diseases of
the
genitourinary
system (N00-
N99)
Died with
SARS-CoV-2**
Death case by cause and gender in Germany (2018) in contrast to SARS-CoV-2 (2020)
[10 month prevalence]
Männer Frauen
54
Source: Wikipedia COVID-19 pandemic data, 2020
299
These measures can be proven. Mouth-nose-covers in this context are only a
potential measure to protect risk groups, not the general population. The
duty to wear masks might cause psychological and psychovegetative damage
only, while slowing down the natural way of immunization. But the German
administrative court answered to urgent application of Daniela Prousa
requesting to finally cancel the mouth-nose-protection-regulation that there is
no need to protect the German population in its mental health. The state, as
the administrative court claims, is only responsible for the physical integrity:
“An intervention does not already exist if only the psychological or emotional
well-being is affected, rather the physical integrity must be affected.”
300
Here,
we have an example of national ignorance of the modern important medical
view that there is a body and mind connection. As described above the mind
of people gets more and more attention in the development of diseases (cf.
p. 10 f.). And the state has the responsibility to prove that there is no impact
of the psychological well-being on the body at first
(cf. also Rudolf Steiners
anthrophosophical view of viruses)
.
301
One must ask oneself if alternative and holistic scientific opinions are not
welcome, if modern media (Facebook, Youtube, Google) try to censor online-
content from renowned experts like Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi or Dr. Wolfgang
55
Wodarg.
302
,
303
,
304
Recently a top manager of Google confirmed that Google is
able to use the power of the search engine to take influence on the politic
course. Media and search engines have the abilities to do that with regards to
their user rates. As Project Veritas found out they also use it and offer it
without any cost to democratic parties to influence political opinions.
305
If that’s the case, there is actually no real freedom of speech in most used
modern media. Or there is freedom of speech in certain areas where media
and politics in industrialized countries permit. Politicians like Cem Özdemir
called for action because of the black lives matter movement, but in contrast
called criticists of the German corona-politics “#covidiots” and by this forced
the split in different beliefs of the viral-topic.”
306
Özdemir’s opinion reflected
also in the reports about black lives matter demonstrations.
307
,
308
,
309
While
protesters of this demonstration were celebrated as philantrophists (“globally
united against racism)
310
, which don’t need to follow the current SARS-CoV-2
regulations, the “#covidiots” still seem to be insecure citizens, esoterics or
political extremists (“They are united by their hatred of the state”).
311
,
312
,
313
,
314
I once more want to state the negative impacts of stigmatization. Here, the
media reports seem to be ambivalent and obviously applying different
standards.
315
As one can see, some researchers are favoured by politicians and media, such
as chief-physician and Charité-virologist Dr. Christian Drosten, as well as Prof.
Dr. Dr. Karl Lauterbach. It seems that politicians nowadays just listen to the
Charité-virologist , not to any other expert. Reflect the impact when in April
2020 he stated to the public: Don't rely on any professors or doctors who
claim to be medical professionals and know about these things." There shall
be only "few scientists in Germany who are working on this particular viral
disease."
316
Also, Karl Lauterbach was the most invited television-guest in the SARS-CoV-2
debate (14 appearances). The only invited guest, who critizes the politics
occasionally, Hendrik Streeck, had only 6 appearances. Bhakdi himself
claimed to get not the same television time, as other scientists, although his
expertise makes him a valuable and well-informed speaker.145 Unfortunately,
although Streecks Heinsberg-study (2020) was excellent and made the SARS-
CoV-2 Virus more assessable, his opinions still gets not recognized by the
German politics (Stanford Prof. Dr. Ioannidis recently confirmed Streecks
findings by publishing a meta-analysis at the WHO, concluding that the
56
lethality of COVID-19 is around 0,23, but would be less if elderly would be
more effectively protected).
317
Source: Spiegel, (2020).
318
While there still seems to be no interest in organizing well-balanced or even
policy critical debates through media like Funk, Spiegel or RTL in Germany,
Servus TV is the first (Austrian) television channel with regular critical guests
like Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi and Dr. Stefan Homburg. Unfortunately, some
“popular” scientists seem to have no interest in a steady interchange of
scientific findings between colleagues. For example, Dr. Drosten is not
interested in an interchange with well-known colleague Streeck anymore. As
Streeck tells WELT, he wrote e-mails to Drosten, but