For many, it is inconceivable that the government is doing something right for once. A comment
In past articles, i have sometimes severely criticized those politically responsible. There have been glaring failures, and it is probably to the credit of the second-tier experts that they have made the politicians act. But this does not change the fact that the drastic measures for containment are, on the whole, correct.
For the last doubters once again a simple consideration. Italy, spain and france are already struggling with a wave of emergencies in which lives are being sacrificed – even though only a small fraction of the population was infected. Because from 50.000 people tested positive, even aming a tenfold increase in the number of unreported cases, no more than one percent of the population (60 million) will be infected. If 90, 50 or even only 25 percent of the population is infected, the catastrophic situation would be 25 times worse (the delayed onset of the disease makes the situation even worse). Unfortunately, this can happen very quickly, because with a daily increase of infected people by 30%, as it was observed in all affected countries without countermeasures, this takes less than two weeks (1.3 to the power of 14 = factor 39). In any case, the details of this calculation do not matter at all, as they only extend the window of opportunity for action by a few days.
Verrucktheit – hopefully – stopped
I am glad that germany will probably succeed in preventing such a collapse and that the mad idea of a "herd immunity" was abandoned in favor of a sensible strategy (abandonment of the german sonderweg). Perhaps this could also be a reason to take a breather before making the next demands.
Instead, there are more and more voices complaining about the alleged hysteria: corona is not so bad, but the measures are. Many publicists are apparently unable to comprehend a simple calculation such as the above in their own sovereignty of thought. Instead, they refer to authorities such as former lung doctors, clinic directors or emeritus professors of microbiology and virology.
Question: how many people with comparable titles and careers are there in germany?? One thousand? Ten thousand? What is the probability of finding 2-3 of them who are willing to be interviewed without understanding the mathematical basics of epidemiology?? Pretty rough. But this consideration is also based on mathematics, the unloved science of numbers.
Hundreds of thousands of people on youtube are listening to the powerful words of sucharit bhakdi, including his "five questions" to the german chancellor, and i am glad if she has better things to do than to respond to it. Some of his arguments were even plausible, if it were a matter of writing a scientific paper. But the professor lives in an ivory tower. You can’t demand weeks of statistical surveys in the course of a pandemic, where a few days decide about many human lives.
The man does not understand what is important. Of course, the italian death figures are overstated. But should the physicians in bergamo therefore quickly autopsy 500 corpses in protective equipment in order to refine the statistics on the cause of death?? It may be that 50 percent of those infected are asymptomatic. But what difference does it make?? The air pollution in lombardy plays a role. May be. And in wuhan, madrid, new york, strabburg, rosenheim? And what if it is not so?
Bhakdi demands that measures are taken only when the danger of the virus is is certain . What a nonsense. One must take precautions as long as the danger is not is not ared is not ared. In the same vein, stanford luminary john ioannidis, who wrote in focus that "without reliable data" .
Nassim taleb, one of the few thinkers who foresaw events like the corona crisis, scoffs, not without reason, that ioannidis recommends "the purchase of insurance as soon as the extent of the damage is known". In general, one wishes that more people were familiar with a rational risk strategy from the black swan: you just focus on the worst case instead of fantasizing, "maybe the virus goes away in the summer".
High noon for irrationality
One wonders why the fire department still prints out in germany, so completely without data basis. Do we really know if the building is flammable or not?? Whether there are people in it, perhaps even under 80 years of age? Whether the smoke is really so toxic? Can’t people stand a bonfire for centuries?? This, unfortunately, is the kind of thinking circulating on alternative news portals at the moment.
Paul schreyer, author of excellent books, claims offhand that the higher infected numbers were generated by more testing. Wrong, because otherwise there would not have been approx. 10% and in sud korea and russia only ca. 0,1%. Above all, however, the argument is completely irrelevant with regard to the upcoming decisions.
The magazine rubikon is the most deeply entrenched in the fact-free bubble, where you can find everything about corona – from gibberish about a new fascism through corona to inhuman fantasies about letting the old people die. The nachdenkseiten are an oasis in comparison.
Kenfm, also appreciated by me, writes that corona cannot compete with the spanish flu of 1918. Yes, but should it? The illegal wars of the west in iraq, afghanistan, syria, libya, yemen etc., against which jebsen had meritoriously positioned himself in recent years, could not compete with the deaths of the first world war, but what is that for an argument??
The alternative bubble
I explain the phenomenon in such a way that these media are in a similar echo chamber, as the mainstream media rightly criticized by them, which have swallowed us in recent years with the transatlantic narrative on world political events. To frame this: i am afraid to use the term "conspiracy theory" to be used in an ill-considered way, i do not believe in a single perpetrator in dallas, nor in the official version of 9 "terrorist attacks" were served up by western governments and their obedient media.
In these cases, however, there were regularly geostrategic interests and plausible motives in the background. But the idea that the u.S. Deep state will suddenly join trump, putin, xi jinping, modi and the europeans in a "corona hysteria" staged to implement a common secret plan is a bit paranoid after all.
Are there perhaps other bose? Ah yes, bill gates. Since ebola in 2014, he has warned that the world – which is pretty idiotic – is unprepared for a pandemic. He probably talks about it every week, most recently in october 2019, so he must be to blame for this pandemic, of course. The responsibility for the next asteroid on collision course and the next solar flare would be clarified with it also. By the way: the question of the origin of the virus, which it would be worthwhile to pursue on occasion, is hardly asked at all.
Something else is bothering me: why have the international alternative media such as the intercept, moon of alamaba.Org, consortiumnews have not yet heard about the realization of their german investigative colleagues that corona is only a hype?
I am first of all glad that the cynical idea of letting the population be afflicted by a disease with as yet unexplored consequences has apparently been shelved – which was by no means self-evident given the state of mind of a trump, johnson or bolsonaro. Isn’t it worth a touch of recognition that the excesses of neoliberalism that are causing suffering and death around the world have not been taken to a perverse extreme here by sacrificing millions more people to continue to strain the planet unmolested??
Better to think for later than to scream immediately
Not everything that has been ordered is perfect. Thomas moser notes, for example, why "hygiene demos" with protective masks and minimum distance should not be allowed, and he is right. I was probably buried if a higher administrative court in 3-4 weeks overturns too strict rules (should they still exist then), whose compliance does not plausibly serve the prevention of infection. But was i today demonstrate?
I find, one could leave to the responsible persons, who have to do not little, also something time to readjust meaningfully. Certainly, the mobility restriction must sooner or later be subjected to more intelligent smart distancing . But the absolute priority at the moment is to get everyone to wear protective masks. Just as important is the isolation of the sick.
Cell phone data will certainly be a hot topic of discussion. But honestly, 7 years after snowden and glenn greenwald’s no place to hide, does anyone believe that they are not being tracked and totally watched when it counts?? Mabnahmen with a clear expiration date can also be accepted here in the interest of the matter. Of course, there are figures who want to take advantage of the situation, like orban with his enabling act or the unspeakably stupid demands for more internet censorship from the eu side. But the fight against it must be fought anyway and depends little on how far i can jog in the park. Finally, so that no one misunderstands me: i stand up unreservedly for the freedom of expression of the publications i criticized above.
It is only a pity if they further disqualify themselves in the current exceptional situation by their world view that everything bad comes from above. Because if one day the lessons of corona are learned – for example, to withdraw the elementary services of general interest from the system of short-term profits, voices will be needed that stand up to the neoliberal ideology. Then the nonsense that these media are reporting today could fall on their faces.
Confidential information to the author at [email protected] Opinions are better left in the forum.
Dr. Alexander unzicker is a physicist, lawyer and non-fiction author. His book "if you female, where the mind is, the day has structure – guide to thinking for yourself in crazy times" was published in 2019 by westend-verlag.