Post-COVID recovery with Belgian insights

Tuesday, 22 September 2020 02:30 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Until we quell and kill the contagion of panic, there can be no sanity, no recovery, no way out of the debilitating paradigmatic crisis that is now engulfing the world with far greater virulence and tenacity than the seasonal coronavirus actually or factually ever did – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara

A dizzy array of eminent Belgian doctors and health professionals, 394 leading doctors, 1327 medically trained health professionals of great distinction, and now 8,700 concerned citizens, have added their signatures to an open letter, aiming to invite, stimulate and demand open debate re COVID orthodoxy and the so-called “second wave”. 

You can directly read the full list of hugely experienced signatories and partake of their full letter by going to: Well worth everyone’s time and attention. And it should provide leaders in Sri Lanka further support for co-leading to a path to regional and perhaps even global recovery through our reinforcing policies and our own initiatives.

But it is an illustrious composing of key facts that I have written about previously, through the prism of medical expertise, research and experience in Belgium – a country so badly buffeted by “evident” COVID impact. But clearly both chastened and now better experienced with global data to draw on, these medical leaders and professionals are challenging their leaders to do better.

Here are their key points:

Independent and critical debates are needed

Kowtowing to unsupported “orthodoxy” so “emergency government” can continue to be extended has to be challenged as civil liberties cannot casually and indefinitely be suspended.

As they state, “A cure cannot be worse than the problem.” And they also cite WHO’s own definition of health hailing from 1948: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or other physical impairment.” 

So “eliminate COVID” cannot be an exclusive, towering, “health” aim as it pays no attention to the emotional and social well-being of individuals. And surely subscription to human rights demands facts take the lead and not bald assertions re clearly “penal” concepts like lockdowns, or mask strictures, or mass enforced quarantine and the like. 

How unlike the predictions

We were told not only by the “imperious” Imperial College doomsayers, but also by the WHO, that the pandemic would claim 3.4% of victims. And this dread scourge had no cures, no vaccines, was highly contagious, would overwhelm ICU’s and intensive care, and so the world dashed to an unprecedented alarm situation to “flatten the curve.”

Somehow as the curve was already flattening by the time lockdowns were imposed, as again verified by the Belgian researchers here in this analysis, we decided we would, without discussion or justification, just move to “eradicate the virus” untenable as that is strategically or tactically. 

Society, whole economies were shut down, and we did the remarkable: quarantining healthy people on sheer speculation. And we awaited first curve flattening, and when that became too prosaic, a “rescue vaccine!”

Then came the troubling facts

As this widely footnoted open letter reconfirms, COVID-19 followed the course of a normal wave of influenza. Each year we are treated to a panoply: rhinoviruses, influenza A and B, and coronaviruses. But this time, we pounced on this “novel” coronavirus with PCR tests, reputed from past pandemics for their prolixity with false positives. 

The non-specific PCR test, with its legion of false positives threw up an exponential picture. As the Belgian doctors state so clearly: “This test was rushed through with an emergency procedure and was never seriously self-tested.” And they too point out, as I’ve previously written, the creator of the test himself warned expressly (as do the instructions in the tests themselves) that these tests are not intended for diagnostic purposes. 

But we are holding an entire planet hostage on this basis! Including huge sectors of the global economy, including tourism, travel and everything related to them.

We have more recently had Harvard University warn us of what Oxford is also highlighting, now echoed in this letter, that the “test” works with cycles of amplifying genetic material…and “any” contamination, from viral debris to other illnesses can spark “detection.” So setting the tests to assess “viral load” is key, and we have theoretical consensus on roughly what that should be (30 cycles or less) but no harmony in actual practice, which means no quality control in terms of reported much less aggregated numbers regionally or globally.

And therefore, at the most primitive level, Koch’s postulates (which identify and confirm a distinctive virus) are not established with this test, as both a healthy and an infected person can produce the same test result.

The lockdown lullaby

So leading journals like ‘Lancet,’ as our Belgian experts remind us, have confirmed that infection waves seemed not to be affected by “lockdown” policies. And we can clearly see that countries never really locked down like Taiwan and Sweden, are flourishing. 

Most imposed lockdowns as stated above as also highlighted by the Belgian experts, came in after the peak was over, and the number of cases was already decreasing. Going forward, climatic conditions, and growing immunity are likely to be far more decisive.

Immunity rules

Without much central planning intervention from the “anointed,” for thousands of years the Belgian specialists remind us, the human body has been getting a daily barrage of moisture and droplets from numerous microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, fungi).

The immune system actually requires daily exposure to these microbial influences to blossom. Hence hardier immunologically challenged regions, despite huge caseloads have done much better on the mortality league tables. While that is not a prescription for drinking unsafe water, it is a warning against cowering away from natural engagement with Mother Nature and thereby literally “infantilising” our immune systems.

Extensive hygiene and social distancing are most needed by those with compromised immunity. Of the two types of human immunity, these doctors list, “the non-specific immune system” which operates via skin, saliva, gastric juice, intestinal mucus, etc. The second type is “the adaptive immune system” with T-cells and A and B antibodies.

The medical analysis shared in the letter highlights the two are entangled. A high number of people seem to have general immunity to influenza. Hence, the Diamond Princess cruise ship case study, where 75% of even an elderly population did not get infected, becomes easier to understand, even with a high-risk group.

Then, the journal Cell published a study showing 60% of the non-infected population had SARS-Cov-2 reactivity with T-cells, suggesting cross-reactivity with other cold (corona) viruses, and suggesting further a similarity with those variants.

As most people testing “positive” have no symptoms, strengthening natural immunity seems far more promising and logical and pertinent (healthy nutrition, fresh air, exercise without a silly mask, ongoing stress reduction, and the literal “health massage” from nourishing emotional and social contacts). And we also minimise all the extended ripple effects therefore of financial ruin, depression, spikes in suicides and domestic abuse, etc.

So contagious but without millions of deaths and also “perhaps” with a treatment?

So, the mortality hysteria was largely a dud, globally to date, close to a normal seasonal flu even just looking at the US and Europe taken together. We also know, as the Belgian doctors remind us, that COVID-19 cases are notoriously overestimated, conflating “with” corona and “from” corona. Most of those so “tagged” had serious additional pathologies ergo the corona-infection cannot be cited as the “cause” of death. But the statistics do not overall reflect this critical nuance. 

The vast majority of these deceased were 80 years or older, at least 70% had an underlying disorder such as cardiovascular illness, diabetes, chronic lung disease, morbid obesity. The vast majority of those infected, 98%+ barely became ill or recovered spontaneously as per the open letter, again mirroring findings from virtually everywhere on the planet.

As for treatments, HCQ continues to inspire controversy, though it is unclear whether that controversy is medical or political or some potpourri thereof. Clinical experience of Belgian colleagues in the field assert impressive results. Theoretical inadequacy of reported studies has led to bans in the Netherlands and elsewhere on the other hand. 

Further clinical affirmation has come from the US, Marseille, and extensively via epidemiological follow up in Switzerland, all referenced in the open letter for those wishing to investigate further. The Belgian specialists have characterised the falling of mortality rates based on the Swiss experience to be “definitive.” If so, the puzzle grows.

The ARDS media images of people literally suffocating, made worse by artificial ventilators, now has been identified as flowing from an exaggerated immune response in pulmonary blood vessels. Blood thinners and dexamethasone apparently now ensure that this terrifying complication is virtually not a mortality issue anymore either.

So, on the above, hardly a lethal “killer” virus, but a treatable condition, or one being conflated with others from all the murkiness that abounds.

Spread and masks

This happens we are told by someone coughing or sneezing on you or aerosols in closed, unventilated rooms. Open air contamination is not possible as per the experts, and so masks are particularly spurious there. Asymptomatic carriers only as per “models” transmit the virus, contact tracing and epidemiological studies, say these doctors have never confirmed this, they are “virtually unable to transmit the virus.” This has shown up in prisons, homeless shelters, cruise ships and more.

Hence social distancing beyond some prudence becomes highly questionable given the need to keep immunity healthy and vital. As the doctors state, “Oral masks in healthy individuals are ineffective against the spread of viral infections.”

These masks are designed for environments rich in at-risk groups with upper respiratory issues. Moreover, wearing these masks causes oxygen deficiency, and flowing from which, nausea, fatigue, loss of concentration. The doctors also warn the accumulated CO2 leads to a “toxic acidification” of the organism which affects immunity.

As a benchmark, the Belgian Labour Code refers to CO2 content (ventilation in workplaces) of 900 ppm, maximum 1200 ppm in special circumstances. After one minute of mask wearing, the toxic limits are already exceeded, three to four times higher than these maximum values provided.

Hospitals manage, not only with higher quality surgical masks, but also by monitoring oxygen flow, with a precise regulation of temperature/humidity. 

The “casedemic”

This is fairly consistent. We are testing much more and therefore “cases” are spiking. Younger people are now far more included, but as explained not really at risk, and so hospital admissions and deaths showed no corresponding surge. Hence despite all the hypochondria, the peak is truly done.

And “do no harm” (part of the core philosophy of the Hippocratic oath) as a maxim, runs afoul of this mad dash for a generalised vaccine therefore.    

Vaccine vexations 

A generalised vaccine not extensively tested prior to being rushed out is inimical to the medical nostrums of safeguarding and maximising informed patient care.

Surveys of influenza vaccinations show in the last 10 years, as per the collective experience of these specialists, we have only succeeded three times in developing a vaccine with more than a 50% success rate. Over 75 years of age, the efficacy is almost non-existent, and yet here, that is the at-risk population.

And viruses mutate annually, so no matter the success of the vaccine, it is intrinsically a short-term solution. Untested vaccines, applied as an emergency procedure, where manufacturers are legally immunised and incentivised to get these out into the populace to use patients as guinea pigs, raises serious questions of both ethics and outright safety. 

On a global scale, 700,000 cases of damage or death have been forecasted from introducing these “cures”, admitted to by Bill Gates as well in an interview,  where he accepts  vaccines for older people are problematic and would require “amping up” with potential side effects to say “at least” 1 in 10,000 (a charitable forecast).

So, if you compare all those uncertainties and unknowns to 95%+ of those infected having virtually no symptoms, it is hard to argue that untested vaccines are the panacea the world should stay shut for and be awaiting as deliverance.

Media derangement

The Belgian doctors are pushing for an uncensored and wide-ranging debate, not government “talking points” with a scientific sheen. The “panel of experts” that advise numerous governments, “behind closed doors,” seem unwilling to be questioned, to supply data, or compare competing paths. Uncritical, and slavish adherence seems to be holding sway.

Social media is expunging dissenting voices. Martial language and “invisible enemy”  allusions are the order of the day, with grandiose death knells being forecasted without any interpretation of figures, or unromantic comparisons with other flu deaths in other years or even with other far more grave (on actual numbers) causes of death. This sets the stage for factually compromised, panic giddy emotionalism.

It has been reported WHO has been at the forefront of silencing voices outside its echo chamber. We have to hope that is incorrect, or that it will be challenged vigorously otherwise.

How long is the “emergency?”

Most of the annulment of civil liberties, our right to do business, to gather, to meet, to exercise preferences and have freedom of worship, the right to education, respect of private choices, have been curtailed, stemming from this asserted “emergency.” 

But we are not in March anymore, and that macabre “mask” has been stripped away. There are no existing objectively verifiable crisis conditions that impel, much less compel this. We have a largely treatable condition with a mortality rate akin to seasonal flu on average as this letter emphatically reaffirms. “Health” simply cannot be the basis for any such “emergency law” now.

As the writers sum up, “As doctors and health professionals, in the face of a virus which, in terms of its harmfulness, mortality and transmissibility, approaches the seasonal influenza, we can only reject these extremely disproportionate measures.”

Our world going forward

The only way for the world to turn the corner, and exemplar nations like Sri Lanka who have managed their reopening with grace and composure and balance, to avail of those opportunities, is to add our voices to those of doctors and professionals around the world who are arguing for facts and data over theology and panic-mongering.

Until we quell and kill the contagion of panic, there can be no sanity, no recovery, no way out of the debilitating paradigmatic crisis that is now engulfing the world with far greater virulence and tenacity than the seasonal coronavirus actually or factually ever did.