The consequences of COVID-19 for which we don’t have a satisfactory answer
Although state borders have been closed due to the coronavirus, scientists from all over the world are partnering like never before. But since SARS-COV-2 is a precedent, we are not yet aware of all the facts. Maybe we need to change our approach when looking at scientific reports on it. That doesn’t mean they’re wrong, it just takes a while to see the big picture. There are already some topics that could give rise to discussion, because there is no scientific unanimity about them. Here they are:
COVID-19 is spread by small particles released when we cough, sneeze or even talk. In order to limit the infection in many countries masks are mandatory. However, scientists cannot reach unanimity when it comes to how effective they are. This report, prepared by a multidisciplinary team, has been approved by the British Academy of Sciences (Royal Society) and is in favor of wearing masks. The main point of reference in it is that they block some of the particles and this is very important when we are in an environment where there is no way to maintain social distance.
Let’s not forget that the coin has two sides. The masks block only part of the particles. However, it is possible to create a misleading sense of security that will make us forget about other security measures. It has been proven that when we wear them, the exhaled air is directed towards our eyes. This can make us impulsively rub them. If we touch a surface from which the virus has remained on our hands, touching our eyes, we infect ourselves.
The WHO is also of the opinion that masks are a good idea only if we do not touch our faces. We also know that some people find it difficult to breathe with them, which makes them take more breaths more often. So they then throw out more particles if they are infected. Not to mention that many people do not wear masks on their noses anyway, which makes them completely meaningless.
Many studies by immunologists have focused on the study of “neutralizing antibodies.” They are produced by so-called b-cells, which combine with important proteins in the body and directly stop the infection.
Some studies have already found that antibodies remain high for several weeks after infection, but decrease over time. One study in China showed that these antibodies were now significantly less after 2-3 months of healing. This calls into question how long-lasting immunity actually is. If several other laboratories confirm similar results, this could mean that the vaccines will not have a particularly long-lasting effect either.
Again, this is just one point of view. Other scientists believe that t-cells are involved. They occur when the body encounters molecules that fight viruses (antigens). The theory that many COVID-19 patients rely on them is quite possible. We don’t have to have a coronavirus to form it. It is enough that we have been in minimal contact with him.
A recent study by the Karonliska Institute in Sweden found that many asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients with COVID-19 developed immunity precisely because of T cells, even without antibodies. The authors believe that they can prevent re-infection and that 1/3 of the virus-free carriers of the virus have developed just such immunity. Unfortunately, there are currently no other details about them.
If this is true, then I have already developed immunity in much larger quantities than blood tests show. The most optimistic interpretations of this information are that mass immunity can be achieved with only 20% of the infected instead of the currently estimated 60-70%. However, this has not been proven in any way so far and is unlikely.
The actual number of cases
The differences in confirmed cases of infection around the world vary to such an extent that there is no doubt. In some regions, those diagnosed with COVID-19 are less than 1%, and in others it is more than half the population. When determining the exact number, scientists approach it in one of two ways. They either test a mass of people in a country and report the numbers, or determine the spread of the virus using mathematical methods. The problem is that they have become so many that we can no longer be sure that one will show us the whole picture.
Researchers at the University of Toronto looked at results from around the world and found that the proportion of those infected varied widely across countries. What’s worse is that we have no idea what this is due to. It may depend on age, health, population density, virus measures taken, number of tests performed or all of the above. Not to mention that the reliability of the tests also varies.