I’m not a virologist or an epidemiologist. I was trained as a scientist. I graduated in 1971 and worked for a number of years as a scientific assistant at the University of Amsterdam. My specialization is research and statistics. I learned to program in 1965. I’ve been working on (big) data analyses for a long time. I am good at analyzing data, recognizing patterns. I am also good at logic. Was a real Math-type at school. Also good at reading and assessing scientific studies.
From the end of March, I wrote articles on my website about Covid-19. By analyzing data, reading the latest international scientific studies, and logical reasoning, I have drawn a series of conclusions. In the meantime, some of them are either generally acknowledged or caused discussions, which eventually come to the same conclusions as I drew then.
If you have time, I invite you to read my article of April 14th with the title “This is how the spread of Covid-19 is going” and the article of 24 May with the title “The Covid-19 knowledge of today”.
Let me now turn to the separate conclusions I drew in my articles and to what extent these conclusions have now become more mainstream:
Mouth protection in public places is advisable
- March 30, I wrote this article: “Why wearing face masks is the only logical conclusion for now."
- June 5th the World Health Organization (WHO) advised on wearing face masks in public places.
The premise of this is article is the virus’s ability to stay airborne longer than expected thus far, and therefore can be transferred in more ways than just coughing or sneezing.
2. Ventilation and increased humidity prevent spreading in enclosed spaces
- From the first blogs on March 27, I wrote about the influence of humidity on the spread of the virus. On April 2, in the article: “Yes! These are the spread accelerators; the micro drops”, a number of things came together. I described in it that you could prevent infections by increasing the humidity and ventilation.
- In a country like Japan, this was already known for a long time, but in the Netherlands, the RIVM (Dutch CDC) stayed away from it for a long time. But the ventilation component is (fortunately) finally starting to become more common in the Netherlands. Increasing the air humidity can also be seen in many places as an aid against spreading. However, as long as the RIVM does not yet recognize the impact of the airborne virus, it is not yet an explicit policy in the Netherlands.
3. Outdoors are far fewer risks of infection than indoors
- In several articles in April, I indicated that the infections mainly occur indoors. After the outcome of a number of investigations, I explicitly stated in my article on 25 April that people should go outside much more. I also mentioned this Chinese study about the locations of infection, which is recently widely quoted in the media as substantiation for the much smaller chance of being infected outdoors.
- About 1 month after the publication of my article, some virologists and epidemiologists finally stated that the chance of being infected outside is significantly smaller than inside.
4. Surface contamination does not occur
- In my article of April 14th with the title: “This is how the virus spreads” I described that the chance of infection through objects is very small.
- On 22 May, the American CDC revised its advice and reported that the transmission via objects is not as great as had previously been assumed. Prof. Streeck’s study in Heinsberg subsequently came out, in which he was unable to collect virus particles from objects in 21 households, which were also capable of infecting people in further laboratory research.
5. The major role of 'super-spreading events' in the spread of the virus
- On April 9th I wrote an article about the great importance of the super-spreading events.
- On April 19th I went deeper into the super-spreading event of Kessel on 5 March. That led to this article of April 24. Based on the numerical analysis of individual municipalities until the moment of lockdown, I couldn’t help but conclude that the superspreading events played a dominant role in the spread of the virus. And that without such an event, the virus actually spread rather slowly. Because while we were still living our normal lives before the lockdown and social distancing, you could clearly see that in the figures of municipalities where no super-spreading events had taken place.
- On June 3rd I described the approach in Japan and an article in the New York Times entitled “Stop the super-spreading events”. Research in various countries confirmed my conclusions of April 24th .
6. The important role of aerosols
- From April 2nd I drew attention to the major role of aerosols in the spread of the virus. Indeed, I could not imagine that during meetings with many people, even if all precautions were taken, super-spread could take place in any other way than by air. That evidence was provided by the study of Prof. Streeck in Gangelt, Germany. I described that in this article on May 4th . If you look broadly at the figures, almost all Covid-19 infections seem to be airborne, as I described on June 3rd.
- There are more and more prominent virologists pointing out the importance of the airborne spread of the virus. This was for example the podcast of Prof. Christian Drosten in which he says the following: “Droplet transmission is more likely to play a smaller role than the transmission via aerosols”.
- On June 10, a new study was released called “Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the transmission of COVID-19”. The title says it all. Another additional proof of the central role of the virus floating in the air.
- In the Netherlands, the RIVM (CDC) and the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) hold the opinion that that role is not there or very small. Unfortunately, however, these Dutch experts prove time and again that they are out of touch with the facts.
Although there is increasing international recognition that airborne contamination could play a major role, this is not (yet) the case in the Netherlands. The fact that this does not happen is dramatically linked to the following point.
7. The 1.5-meter society is unnecessary and unsafe
- From the moment the Dutch Government announced the 1.5-meter 'social distancing' as the new norm, I have resisted this in different ways. In essence, my objection is twofold:
- On the one hand, it causes considerable economic and social damage. For that reason alone, I strongly oppose the proposal to formalize the 1.5-meter society by law. [The Dutch Covid-19 Law was to take effect in July, but is meeting stiff resistance and therefore has been postponed to September]
- On the other hand, it is not the proper answer to the real danger of large-scale infection with the virus. 80% of the infections take place via super-spreading events.
The spread of the virus is not contained because of people staying 1.5 meters apart [or any distance for that matter], but because of the virus being airborne as aerosols, which are then inhaled by those present in confined spaces for a longer period of time, at the right temperature, air pressure, and humidity.
Social distancing does not prevent the majority of the infections, and also provides a false certainty. For example, in the state of Georgia, USA, we could observe that after the re-opening of churches, where people held tightly to the 1.5-meter limit, contaminations occurred again. [This is yet another example of the super-spread events.]
- Scientific dogma: One of the biggest obstacles in the fight against the virus is that almost all virologists and epidemiologists assume that influenza spreads through droplets and that this also applies to Covid-19 (and SARS). This is how they are trained and how they look at the spread of these infectious diseases. This is also reflected in the attitude of the WHO and its proxies. Scientific dogma prevents thinking about any other way of spreading these infectious diseases, let alone that it might be the predominant factor. Reputations, scientific careers, and tons of research are at stake in this matter.
Why size matters, in this case, has been superbly worked out in this article: Aerosols, Droplets, and Airborne Spread: Everything you could possibly want to know.
- Tunnel vision: Most politicians across the globe are so hypnotized by fear, that they repeat the scientific mantras thoughtlessly.
- Circular reasoning: Officials delude themselves in circular reasoning. The number of infections is dropping, because of government measures; therefore these measures were just and right.
- Clueless media: The media are so embedded with the powers that be, that they lack any critical thinking of their own accord. Establishment scientists and officials can comfortably maintain a position that has become untenable given the latest research. It defies logic and common sense. This is largely due to the fact that the media let them posit their old mantras without any criticism. Hardly any attention is being paid to counter-arguments.
The world's population is whipped up in a frenzy of fear that leaves little or no room for counter-narratives and critical independent thinking.
Wasn't it Gallileo Galilei in the 17th century, who claimed that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and not the other way around? This was too much of a paradigmatic shift for the clever minds of the time, and Galilei ended up being placed under house arrest, lockdown.
The initial denial by the then powers that be did eventually not harm the course of humanity. Yet, I feel that presently every day we remain under lockdown is inflicting tremendous damage upon our societies.
Galilei's discovery did not alter Earth's trajectory, it paved the way for the age of exploration and unfortunately that of conquest too, but at least there was a logical cause and effect. It made sense, at least in hindsight.
How will future historians look at the Corona crisis of 2020?
I Hope this ship returns to shore safely, but I’m afraid the ship is already sinking...
Re-published with permission and annotated